The incredible news has just come out of Portland, OR, that more than $50,000 worth of gear belonging to legendary psyche rockers The Brian Jonestown Massacre has been recovered by police there. The stash included custom made guitars and effects pedals, which have long played an essential role in the band’s utterly unique, inimitable sound – and have “enormous sentimental value.”
Like just about every other music artist on the planet, BJM had just wanted to get back on the road, after two years of lockdowns and quarantines. Frontman, songwriter, composer, studio owner, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer, force of nature Anton Newcombe had survived a pair of bouts of COVID in his current home of Berlin, and the band had intrepidly written and recorded two entirely new albums, including the highly anticipated Fire Doesn’t Grown on Trees, which is due to be released digitally on June 24.
In a recent interview Newcombe enthused, “For me to get the chance at my age to go off on another world tour for two years and play bigger places, grand theaters, and be at the top of my game, is an honor as well as a challenge. We are very excited.”
Image courtesy of Anton Newcombe
A 38-date North American tour (with Mercury Rev opening) kicked with fitting fanfare off at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer on March 27. But COVID intervened one again, and recent dates in Vancouver, Tacoma and Seattle had to be cancelled. The band – who currently boast more than 800,000 monthly listeners on Spotify – returned to the stage on the 18th in Portland with new gear that they purchased.
The city’s KATU reported at the time that crew had discovered the gear missing sometime between 4am and 5pm, and Newcombe tweeted that the theft included a rare Vox ultrasonic 12 guitar, as well as a Vox Starstreamer 12, Gibson ES 12, Fender Jazz bass, Harmony Sovereign 6 acoustic with Dean Markley, Eko 6 string acoustic with built in pickup, and one guitar tech tool kit.
Newcombe also tweeted thanks for the “unbelievable kindness of the Portland music community” in getting the word out, and praised the police for their skillful and swift detective work.
BJM and their recovered gear take the stage at Dallas’ Granada Theater tonight, before moving on to Houston’s The Heights Saturday evening, the continuing on next week to Lawrence, Saint Louis, Nashville and beyond.
“We are all eternally greatful to the portland police department for their help in finding our stolen equipment. It has been said that it had great sentimental value, however, I am not very sentimental, I use my gear to create music 6 days a week, to feed my family and employ my friends. These are the tool of my craft, no different than a truck full of tools used in construction or any other trade. I also wish to thank everyone for their outpouring of concern, and for spreading the word, especially Dan at KATU TV. ” – Anton Newcombe
Live photos courtesy of Jake Barlow/ CBS News
On March 25 The Brian Jonestown Massacre released “The Real,” the lead single from their forthcoming album “Fire Doesn’t Grow On Trees”.
In an era where one band bleeds into the next and production all seems to be pulling from a similarly beige-y sonic palette, here is a record that crackles with excitement and possibility, the fuzz of those 60s Ampeg amps, the exhilarating swirl of guitars and keyboards, explosion of fuzzy guitars, thrumming organs and rolling drums collide around Newcombe in the middle of it all, conducting the chaos.
“Fire Doesn’t Grow On Trees” To be released Digitally on June 24.
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