Blackbreaks thank you, Stolen Bass returned

Mark "Milli" Avery almost cracks a smile, with his returned bass

Mark “Milli” Avery almost cracks a smile, with his returned bass

In a good news story for Australian musicians of all stripes, an overwhelming supportive online and community campaign has helped Blackbreaks get their much loved stolen bass guitar back.

After two months of uncertainty bass player Mark ‘Milli’ Avery (pictured) this week finally had his stolen Fender instrument back in his hands.

“Looks like it’s pretty damn hard to steal musical instruments these days,” claims a slightly crazily grinning Avery.

After discovering instruments had been stolen, the first thing singer Chris Dubrow did was post a message on the band’s Facebook page:

 “Unhappy News today. Yesterday Blackbreaks bass player Mark “Milli” Avery who many of you know around the Newtown traps, had the lock up at his flat broken into and his guitars stolen.”

“The one he really cares about is his main bass that he uses all the time: a Fender Precision Lite. Its not a super pricey thing, maybe worth around $1k, but it is his main tool of the trade, he has had it for a long time and he is understandably heart broken.”

The post went on to ask friends to keep an eye out for the instrument, and to share the post. The response took the band completely by surprise.

As Dubrow put it: “The response was just unbelievable, first our Sydney friends started sharing it, and then it picked up in Melbourne and beyond. Next it moved into the muso networks and everyone just kept sharing the shit out of it. Then I posted about it on Twitter, and we had similar explosion, even mainstream news journalists helpfully retweeted it. Facebook tells us that in the end the original post went out to nearly 25,000 people. If only our little videos were that popular!”

“The online community were also just incredibly supportive. People were looking everywhere. Some folks offered to lend us bass guitars, one bloke even offered to give us one he no longer used. Some also helpfully gave us advice on dealing with the hock shops (pawnbrokers) and how to report it to the police.”

There was one hiccup. As Avery had recently moved house he had trouble locating the guitar’s serial number and receipt he knew he had stashed away somewhere. No problem, said the online hive-brain, just go to the music shop and see if it is still on the records.

As Avery tells it: “As suggested, I went down to Smithys music shop where I bought the bass many years ago and the guys there were great. They trawled through years of records until they found it. The lesson for musicians is: mark your exact model and serial number down, scan your receipt, and store it somewhere online that is easily recoverable.”

Recovering the serial number eventually led to the instrument being located at a Sydney City Pawnbroker. NSW Police were then helpfully able to return the bass to its rightful owner. And Blackbreaks are pretty darn happy about it.

A Big thanks to the Australian music loving community for helping us out on this – Hoorays!

Come celebrate with us tonight in Sydney at Frankies Pizza, (Playing With Mr Blonde and Anatomy Class), or in Melbourne:

Friday 4th Sept – Lyre Bird Lounge (Melbourne)

Saturday 5th Sept – Brunswick Hotel (Melbourne)

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