Guitar great Zakk Wylde is missing one of the tools of his trade, and it’s a special one at that. The Black Label Society leader’s prized Pelham Blue Bullseye Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar was stolen during a tour stop in Chicago, and a police investigation into the theft is now under way.
According to GuitarPlayer.com, Wylde was in the Windy City to perform as part of the Experience Hendrix Tour, which also featured such guitarists as Buddy Guy, Eric Johnson, Dweezil Zappa, Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd among others.
The $10,000 guitar was reportedly taken from his tour bus at approximately 10PM Friday night (March 14) in Chicago, along with Wylde’s leather vest. Anyone with information about the guitar and vest is urged to contact Wylde via his Twitter account at @ZakkWyldeBLS.
The Chicago Tribune caught up with Wylde by phone on Saturday, and the shredder had this to say about the crime: “I thought somebody might have picked it up and put it in the back lounge (inside the venue) … Nothing gets stolen off tour buses unless you don’t lock them. Rule number one: when you get off this (expletive deleted) bus, you lock the (expletive deleted) door and you check the handle.” He adds, “Hopefully, these morons are going to go down to the flea market, or the pawn shop.”
The guitarist had previously discussed his history with the Pelham Blue guitar in an interview with Gibson.com. “The first one I actually had was Gibson Pelham Blue SG Firebrand. It was actually really cool. I ended up getting rid of it because I wanted to save up for a Les Paul Custom or something like that, but it was a kick-ass guitar. When I look back, I wish I’d saved that thing. It was also unusual because it didn’t have a rosewood fingerboard — it had an ebony fingerboard, and it had just round inlay markers. That was a killer guitar. I had to have been maybe 15 or so when I got it, and I probably had it until I was maybe 16, 17, something like that, before I decided I had to get that Les Paul instead.”
He added, “Happily, Gibson made me a custom Les Paul Custom where the whole guitar is Pelham Blue — the front, the back, the neck — and then they put the black bullseye on it. It sounds totally killer. I also have one of my ZVs in Pelham Blue, and I call the two guitars ‘the Blue Balls.’”