Published Sep 25, 2015In what is a sadly common tale among touring musicians, Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson has become the latest artist to lose an instrument on the road. His prized banjo, which he has frequently used over the past decade and a half, has gone missing.
Although Johnson only just put a call out for information about the instrument, it seems to have been gone for about six months, as it apparently hasn't been seen since Big Sugar's gig in Brandon, MB, back in March. Presumably, then, he only just noticed that it had disappeared when preparing for Big Sugar's fall tour.
On Facebook, Johnson chalked the loss up to "employee negligence," and said that "the person who has it will in no way be considered a thief." There's even a "sizable reward" for anyone who finds and returns it. That's a photo of the banjo above. Below, read Johnson's statement about the instrument for a detailed description of how to identify it:
My pre-war Gibson Six String Banjo that I have owned for 15 years, played, wrote and recorded with on tour and on record, is gone. Stolen? For sure missing. It was last seen at Brandon Manitoba March 2015 during the final show of the Big Sugar Yardstyle Tour. All theories as to where it might be have come up snake-eyes.
I am destroyed.
If anyone has seen or heard of its whereabouts please contact us at [email protected] . This instrument was lost due to employee negligence and so the person who has it will in no way be considered a thief.
It is quite unique in that it has playing card " heart spade diamond " carved into the face of the headstock (not factory) and a very elaborate flower pot painting on the back of the resonator (original).
If memory serves, it may still have a very dark yellow (almost green) sticker on the back of the headstock with the original guitar store name where it was first purchased. This is what the back looks like and a link to some footage of it being played. https://youtu.be/OXd27F2mOLo
Many years ago my 1969 Gibson ES-335 was stolen and eventually returned through the kindness of strangers. I am very blessed to have it back.
The loss of this banjo has affected me deeply, I pray and remain optimistic that all people are basically good hearted and that it will be discovered and returned. Of course, a sizable reward is being offered to the kind soul who finds and returns it. Please share if you can.
See Big Sugar's tour schedule here. Check out footage of Johnson talking about and playing his prized banjo below.