Guitar takes a side trip after Duluth concert
A country musician's guitar walked out of Grandma's Sports Garden after a Wednesday night concert. But after an anxious night and morning for guitar player Chad Warrix, the guitar is being returned. Warrix was performing with Randy Houser, the he...
A country musician's guitar walked out of Grandma's Sports Garden after a Wednesday night concert.
But after an anxious night and morning for guitar player Chad Warrix, the guitar is being returned.
Warrix was performing with Randy Houser, the headline act of the Wednesday night show, when he spontaneously handed his guitar to a woman in the front row.
In an e-mail message to the News Tribune, Warrix described it like this:
"I handed it to this random girl, while still plugged in and making sound. Never dreaming that she thought this was some sort of silent transaction/purchase/giveaway of precious heirlooms. It was just a cool performer/fan interaction. We all walked off stage while guitars were still loudly ringing. I asked my guitar tech to retrieve the guitar; he apparently didn't hear me. I continued to take pics and sign autographs as usual backstage not knowing what was happening at the time. Then proceeded back to stage to put away my guitars as usual, when a certain one became missing."
By Thursday morning, a desperate Warrix had sent messages via his Facebook and Twitter pages, the News Tribune's website and radio station KKBC.
"Girl w/curly hair w/guy w/black cowboy hat, front row @ Randy Houser/Grandmas show in Duluth. Silverburst Les Paul WASN'T a gift! Return NOW!" Warrix tweeted.
By afternoon, the matter had been resolved, apparently with a phone call from "guy w/black cowboy hat."
"The guy rang us right away when he heard about it," said Stuart Ward, production manager for the Houser tour. "They honestly thought it was a gift."
It would have been an expensive gift.
Weston Mays, the show's tour manager, declined to say exactly what the guitar was worth. But he offered a hint: "It's worth a lot," Mays said. "It's worth more than a lot of people's cars."
Ward said everyone involved with the concert believed all along it was a misunderstanding. But if there had been criminal intent, it would have been hard to get away with it. Images of the couple leaving Grandma's with the guitar were available from security cameras, and Warrix had video of his own, taken from the stage.
Warrix, whose home base is Nashville, Tenn., sent a message via Facebook asking if any Nashville musician who might be in Duluth soon would be willing to bring back his guitar. It was without its case, he noted, and he was afraid to send it via airlines.
Warrix will be without it at least for the next show, this evening in Okmulgee, Okla.
But Warrix would be able to make do, Ward said. "He's got six guitars."