ARMORED SAINT's Joey Vera has been reunited with a bass guitar that was stolen from him 18 months ago.
The white ESP V4 bass disappeared in February of last year, along with a 1979 Gibson Les Paul guitar. Vera spent months trying to track it down, without any success.
But earlier this month, a fan contacted him to say he had seen what looked like the bass for sale on eBay.
Vera explained: "On October 4th of this year, just before I left for Japan to play a gig with ARMORED SAINT, I got a message from a fan, William Wells, saying that he was about to bid on a bass he found on eBay. He really liked the bass and was about to bid when his memory recalled a similar bass in a post that I has posted back in February of 2015. After looking up that old post, he realized that it might be the same bass. He sent me the message along with the eBay posting ID, and sure enough after taking a close look at it, it knew it was MY bass. I immediately contacted the seller and very discreetly asked how long the seller had the bass and what condition it was in. I was trying to confirm that it was mine. He replied very quickly saying that he'd only had the bass for a week. He said that the bass came along with another purchase he'd made, a guitar. The person who'd sold it to him would ONLY sell the guitar IF he also bought the bass. But he was a guitar player and not a bass player so he was just getting rid of the bass. Hmmmmm? I replied and said, 'I'll bet any amount of money that the guitar you bought was a cream-colored 1979 Les Paul.' He was stunned. 'How could you know that?' he asked. I said, 'Because both of those guitars were stolen together back in February 2015.'
"Turns out the fellow who bought these two guitars was none other than guitarist James Stevenson (GENE LOVES JEZEBELLE, THE CULT, GEN X, THE ALARM). We got to talking and James is a super-cool guy, completely understood the situation, being a fellow musician having had guitars stolen from him also. Both [my buddy] Zach [Throne] and I just wanted our guitars back so the only solution was to buy them back from James for the amount of what he'd paid. And since James had bought the guitars from a local consignment center, the price was a steal. The police told me that it was a dead end, trying to get ANY money back and trying to find out who actually sold them to the consignment center in the first place. No worries. We're both just so glad that we got the guitars back.
"Very strange to think that the guitars and bass stayed together during that entire year and a half. Zach's guitar was in very good condition still. (in fact, James had done some minor work on it to improve it) but my bass came home with a slight mystery. It seems that at some point someone had played it. There was a strange black leather strap attached to it, but they seem to have removed my strap locks and put them onto this weird strap. Also, there's a bunch of red colored dust, and small chips of what looks like red finger nail polish all around the bridge pickup. The strings are dead as fuck too. Who knows what story my bass could tell. But other than that, the bass is in very good condition.
"In the end, I'm very happy that I got it back. But honestly, I had let it go a long time ago. It's only a thing. And ESP was very gracious and got me another V4 shortly after that, so life went on. All has been very good, health, family, friends, supporters. That's what really matters to me.
"There's so much strife in this world. Losing this bass was a bummer at the time but there's so much more important things in life that matter, and during these times of our changing planet, my attention is elsewhere.
"Many thanks to William Wells, James Stevenson, ESP and all of you who helped repost my initial post and sent messages of concern. Thank you!"