Claude Coleman Jr

Ween Drummer To Get Stolen Instrument Back

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Back in June Ween drummer Claude Coleman Jr. was performing with his Amandla ensemble at NYC club Otto’s Shrunken Head, when a thief swiped his precious Epiphone Thunderbird bass.

The instrument means the world to Claude as it has accompanied him on numerous tours and has high sentimental value. Coleman was able to obtain video footage of the suspected thief and posted screengrabs on Facebook, which were shared over 600 times and led to NY’s Daily News publishing an article about the theft. Well, it appears there’s a happy ending to the story as Claude is getting his instrument back.

Claude expects to pick up his bass soon after the NYPD arrested the alleged thief, who unbelievably returned to the scene of the crime a number of times after he stole Coleman’s instrument. The NYPD worked out a deal with the alleged thief in which he’d be given a petty larceny ticket in exchange for the return of the instrument.

Read Claude’s blog post about the capture of the alleged thief:

Apprehended; the thief of my Ephiphone Thunderbird bass. This man has come back to the bar at least a couple of times apparently. Back to the place where a week ago he bent over to grab my bass in its bag, our drummers’ drum pad, and then walk behind me out the door with it all – all on camera.

On his first night back to Otto’s post–theft he was wearing the same outfit of clothes from that night including the perched sunglasses on his head, which he’s still rocking here and which is apparently really critical to his look. To me it makes no sense, it’s nighttime, I mean… But talk about a deluded chump, just clueless. I mean what the hell are you thinking –

“Claude, if thieves were fuckin’ smart Claude, I’d be out of a fuckin’ job” – NYPD detective

On his the second appearance to Otto’s he was spotted, and the good folks at Otto’s Shrunken Head called NYPD. Here he stands in with his hands in handcuffs behind his back. The pic was sent to me from the detective, which was August 29th, my birthday night – it was incredible. I had given up about it all after they turned up false leads.

He was offered a deal – return the bass and walk with just a petty larceny ticket. He took the deal. So my bass now sits at NYPD, it’s getting picked up. I don’t know about the GoPro or my tuner and any other of the other contents in the bag just yet.

I can’t thank enough all the detectives at 9th precinct including det. Lombardi, det. Santos, anyone else I forgot. Also the killer people at Otto’s Shrunken Head who do not fuck around at all – Nell, Steve, Patricia also Frank Wood, also everybody else who shared the post, the Daily News and all the people in all of the resources that deal with instrument theft; anyone and everyone who helped some.

Kudos to the NYPD, who also recently helped Buddy Cage of New Riders get his long-lost, stolen pedal steel guitar back.


Posted under Band News, Drummer News

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