Sonic Youth puts the guitars in the court broth - Liberation

Sonic Youth puts the guitars in the court broth – Liberation

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Stories of legendary instruments stolen, sometimes found. Today, Sonic Youth is trying to get hold of their gear, robbed in a parking lot in 1999.

The geeks of Sonic Youth have always had a special conception of the guitar, not the type to polish necks with linseed oil. Instead of scraping the wires with a screwdriver, they rip out the redundant volume buttons and cover their fender decals with etched lacquer random, from the Dr Pepper logo to the flash of an obscure Japanese combination. Somewhere between John Cage (prepared piano) and Andy Warhol (pop collage)… Thurston Moore, their lead guitarist, made an ethic out of it: “Most people are looking to keep their instruments in top condition. Not us. We immediately devalue our equipment with our adjustments…” On paper, targeting such carefully sadized instruments is a bad idea. First, they can be hyper-identified, and second, they are in a sorry state of possible concealment. Since crime is not an area where rationality prevails, on July 4, 1999, post-punk icons became victims of possibly the worst robbery in recent rock history.

Volatilized out

That summer, the New Yorkers went on a mini-tour of California. Kim Gordon and her raucous gang hang out at the rather upscale Ramada Inn in Orange County. On the parking, roadies about…

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