SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The writer of “Free Ride” claims he found a guitar of his that was stolen from a concert over 35 years ago, and he wants it back from the Northern Irish rocker who has it now.
Ronnie Montrose, former member of the Edgar Winter Group and writer of the songs “Free Ride” and “Frankenstein,” alleges somebody stole a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard he bought from J. Geils from the side of the stage during a 1972 concert in Dudley, Massachusetts. Once he realized the guitar was missing, Montrose stopped the show, turned on the house lights and searched for the guitar, to no avail. He called the Dudley police department but the guitar did not turn up.
According to the suit, a guitar collector who Montrose told of his ordeal saw pictures of the guitar in a British magazine highlighting the collection of rocker Gary Moore.
After the Dudley concert, Montrose gave numerous interviews detailing the theft of the classic and distinctive guitar, among the most expensive in the world when Montrose bought it, and pleaded for its safe return. He once hired a private investigator to track down a lead that proved unsuccessful and continued to talk to guitar collectors and others about the stolen guitar, according to the suit.
One such collector, Michael Indelicato, claims he was given a picture of the guitar by another dealer at a Texas show who told him the guitar belonged to an English musician. Indelicato contacted the musician but he did not respond. Indelicato later saw an identical picture with a serial number. He did a Google search of the serial number and was directed to a posting on a Gibson website that lead him to believe he had found the guitar.
Indelicato says he then saw pictures of the ’59 Gibson in an article in Guitar Buyer, a British magazine, highlighting Moore’s guitar collection.
Montrose tried to contact Moore, who has played with Thin Lizzy, BB King and other artists, but he did not respond. Montrose claims he filed suit after being left with no other alternative. The suit alleges conversion and trespass to chattel for failing to return the stolen equipment. Moore is represented by David Commins of Commins & Knudsen in San Francisco.