A local band is reeling after more than $30,000 in equipment, merchandise and personal belongings were stolen early Wednesday morning while the group was on tour in Dallas, Texas.
Eli Howard is a Molallan native and fixture in the local country scene for more than a decade, both as a solo artist and as part of the group Brass Tacks. He’s currently on tour in the southern United States with his new band, Eli Howard & The Greater Good, hitting such cities as Tucson, Huntsville, Atlanta and Athens, Georgia.
It was a dream come true — until it became a nightmare.
“At some point late last night or early this morning, our van and trailer were stolen, with absolutely every piece of gear we have in it,” Howard told fans and supporters in a Facebook video Wednesday. “Our clothes were in the van. All of our merch is gone. I just made a huge order of merch for this tour and every bit of it’s gone now.”
The stolen gear included a custom drum set, three bass guitars, three keyboards and five guitars, along with mics, mixers, headphones, cases and other assorted equipment. Howard told the Current the equipment’s value is at least $30,000.
The vehicle was a 2013 white Ford E350 van with Oregon plates and an enclosed 12-foot trailer. In the video, Howard pleaded for help in recovering the stolen items — or that they simply be returned.
“The gear that’s in that trailer is my band’s livelihood, and we take a lot of pride in what we do,” he said. “So, if the person that stole our stuff, if you see this, just bring it back and there will be no questions asked. I just want to continue this tour.”
The band received an outpouring of support in the wake of the crime, including enough borrowed vans and equipment from fellow musicians and supporters to enable them to play their planned shows at the Magnolia Motor Lounge in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday and Love & War in Plano Friday.
“We ain’t canceling shit,” Howard promised on Facebook Thursday. “I may be a couple of guitars less than I was when I left Oregon, but I’ve gained so much more on the other end. So to whoever stole our shit, if you wanna open for us, hit me up.”
The band also reported Thursday that Dallas police had recovered the stolen van, but the trailer and gear are still AWOL.
A GoFundMe campaign to assist the band had raised nearly $3,500 as of noon Thursday. To support Howard & The Greater Good, visit gofundme.com or elihowardmusic.com.
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