Happy ending for a missing bass

Ever since this site was launched, back in the days of The Bluegrass Blog, we have highlighted the theft of musical instruments whenever they come to our attention.

Having a beloved instrument stolen is among the most personal violations a picker can endure, not only as it affects their livelihood and their art, but for the close bond that can form between musicians and their axes.

We heard yesterday from Bryan Turner, bass player with Dale Ann Bradley. Several years ago we ran a notice about his bass being stolen during the IBMA convention in Nashville. At the time Turner was a member of Cumberland Gap Connection, and the bass went missing after a late night showcase.

Bryan had a truly heartwarming story to share, which I’ll let him tell in his own words…

I had emailed you back in 2008 after IBMA asking if you would post that my Knilling thin body bass had been stolen there, and you did it quickly, and posted a couple of pics and some information about it. I also did the usual police reports and waited to see if anything had turned up, and as days turned into months, nothing happened. I did the usual searches on eBay and craigslist to see if it would show up, and nothing ever surfaced there either. As the months and years started passing, my searches got fewer and further in between, and I was certain I would never see that bass again.

So last week I got a Facebook email and a message on our studio phone voicemail (I am co owner of the Curve studio with Steve Gulley) from a guy in Nashville who gives me his website and email address saying he would like to talk to me.

So I am thinking its probably someone looking to see if we need any session work or anything. My name doesn’t mean much in the Nashville scene, so I had no idea what the guy wanted.

I email him back and tell him Ill give him a call the next day because I would be traveling. When I reach the guy and he says, ‘You had a bass stolen in Nashville bout 4 years ago didnt you?’ I said yes, and he said, ‘Well, I have your bass.’ I really couldn’t believe it… after 4 years someone calls me out of the blue to tell me he has my bass!

Turns out his name is Dave Roe Rorick, and he had a friend that had bought it from someone, who then sold it to him, and he has had it for 2 and 1/2 years! To try and finish my novel, he tells me that he was looking for a case online for the bass, and came across the posting from Bluegrass Today that still had the info on there, and he noticed the nicks and scrapes on the photos of the posting were in the same places. So he checked the serial number, and it was the same.

So this guy does his research to find me, and tells me to come and pick my bass up. I really cant tell you how thankful I am that you posted my info, and even more that it was kept online. In the next few weeks I plan on making a trip down to Nashville to pick up my bass that I lost 4 years ago!

I cant tell you enough, but many, many thanks to Bluegrass Today!

Great news! Congratulations to Bryan, and a tip of the hat to Dave.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Dennis Lee

    The returned bass is awesome. However, the best part of this this story is the character of Mr. Rorick.