Black Flag bassist Kira Roessler's custom bass guitar stolen

163031_10150369920610137_789110136_16747558_1651436_a.jpgThe Studio City, CA home of legendary bassist Kira Roessler (Black Flag, Dos) was broken into yesterday. Among the belongings reported stolen: her custom bass guitar. While losing any of one's possessions to theft is a huge bummer, this is *really* sad. According to The Groove Music Life:
The bass is a three-quarter-scale instrument custom-made by California-based luthier Mark Garza with a Rickenbacker-style body and Telecaster-style headstock with the name "Garz" on it; according to Kira there is also a small nick in the headstock. It is the only model of its kind in existence; it has been Roessler's main instrument for the past several years.

Hopefully, the uniqueness of this instrument will aid in identifying it if it turns up somewhere, and the odds of its return to Roessler are greater. If any Boing Boing readers happen to see it or have any leads, they're welcome in the comments.


  1. i’m sure she has easy access to a hundred that’re just as good. i mean, it sucks when anything gets stolen but it’s a bass guitar we’re talking about here, right? its easy to find a wonderful bass guitar.

    1. True DaveP, but I think you are missing the point. Finding a good bass that is THAT F**KING UGLY is a life long quest.

    2. DaveP, I don’t know if you play an instrument, or guitar in particular, but no. Custom-built luthier guitars, be they classical, steel string, bass, or electric, are almost always >>> than any factory instrument, no matter how expensive a factory instrument it is. Luthiers do a 1,000 little things with each individual instrument they build that just can’t be duplicated by bigger makers. If we’re talking about a guy who’s played for a year and fills up space in a crappy faux-punk-pop band du jour, then sure, just go to the Guitar Center and pick up another one off the rack and it won’t really matter, but Kira is not that kind of player.

      That said, most guitar-enthusiast websites and message boards have a “Stolen, Lost, or Strayed” thread that can often be a big help. The more eyes looking for something like this, the better. I hope she and her friends are able to take advantage of resources like that.

      1. But the Who used to smash these things into a million pieces every night on stage.

        I find it funny that DaveP has changed his name to avoid any additional association that small purple guitars not owned by prince for several years are not irreplacable.

        1. But the Who used to smash these things VERY CAREFULLY every night on stage, THEN CAREFULLY REASSEMBLE THEM BACKSTAGE for the next show, as they couldn’t afford to replace their instruments every night.

          1. Nirvana used to do the same thing, i saw kurt break up one guitar and the roadies must have glued that thing together the next night, unless of course they just had a huge crate of broken guitar bits they could frankenstein together for the next gig. Still, its a bummer to have an instrument stolen, i have an off the peg fender jazz which is very replaceable but its well gigged, has battle scars and most importanly is mine… i’d miss it if stolen.

          2. I saw The Who in 1967 here in Melbourne. Towards the end of the show, must’ve been between songs, I saw a little, shadowy figure in a floppy hippie-hat scuttle in crouching from the wings, in the shadows, and switch guitars. Then on to “My Generation” and biff bam boom.

    3. A wonderful “one of a kind,” “custom” bass guitar that you’ve broken in over the course “several years”? That’s what you find easy to come by? Utterly perplexing comment, Dave.

  2. Great. Now we have to reply to the dry boring guy in the room. “How can you love a THING?!” Losing an instrument, especially one that was custom made for you, can be pretty devastating. Hopefully whoever stole it has the same attitude as DaveP and tries to sell it to a used shop as just another bass.

  3. My cousin Mark made that bass, based on Kira’s preferences, call it ugly if you want. Check out his website if you want to see the world of possibilities. As far as easy to find a wonderful bass, you get what you pay for. I have two basses made by Mark and they are not replaceable in my mind.

    1. yeah, i’m sure it is a very wonderful instrument. its custom. its not off-the-rack. so how much for another custom guitar? what, did they quit taking clients at the custom guitar store?

      1. It’s really not a matter of her being able to afford it or getting a replacement made. It’s been her main instrument for years, so I’m sure its sentimental to her. If someone stole my bass, what would piss me off the most is not the monetary value, but the sentimental value. I’ve played this bass for years, played many shows, been in a couple of great bands, something that this bass has helped me do. A new(even a better bass) would never be the same.

  4. She might get lucky and have it turn up somewhere.

    When I was in a band several decades ago, a lady bassist friend had her favorite 3/4 scale Fender Mustang bass stolen from her. It turned up about a year later at a swap meet or something, and she got it back. Then she wrote a song about it.

  5. Man, one of my greatest burglary fears is having my guitar stolen. Even compared to the fear of losing my computers, TV, video game systems, etc. the fear of losing my guitar to some asshole just haunts me. My guitar’s not even expensive or hard to replace, it’s just that it’s MY GUITAR.


    He didn’t say “it’s easy to find a custom bass that has been owned by the owner for years,” he said “it’s easy to find a wonderful bass guitar,” which is incontrovertibly true.

    1. He didn’t say “it’s easy to find a custom bass that has been owned by the owner for years,” he said “it’s easy to find a wonderful bass guitar,”

      So the subject of the comment was something other than the subject of the post?

      Well, then how ’bout this similarly “incontrovertibly true” statement: “it’s easy to find an object with mass.”

      Nope. It’s mere truth doesn’t make it a worthwhile comment either.

      1. So the subject of the comment was something other than the subject of the post?

        Somewhat. Thread spurs are a common phenomenon on the internet.

        P.S. to the powers that be: is a misnomer.

  7. Something similar happened to a band called “The Mermen” several years ago. Someone backed up to their equipment trailer outside of the hotel while the group was inside sleeping. It was found pretty fast I think, a few states away at some pawn shop (of course). It was found because of all the attention the incident received from the bands group e-mail’s.
    Good Luck!

  8. The third thing on my list of What To Save In An Emergency, after my wife and my dog (and, honestly, they’ll probably fend pretty well for themselves), is a 1948 Epiphone Blackstone archtop that I inherited from my maternal grandfather, who I never met. Over the years, that guitar has become my main connection to the man, and at the risk of sounding too melodramatic, has shaped my life. I would be crushed beyond any reasonable measure if anything happened to it. Lost or stolen, I *would* find it; destroyed, I’d be crestfallen.

    It’s difficult to explain the connection musicians have to their instruments, especially to an otherwise rational person like myself. But when you create – from thin air or the muses, or where ever – with an instrument of any kind – not just musical – you tend to form a connection with it in a part of your body/brain/soul that is hard to shake.

    Yeah, it’s ‘just a bass’ and mine is ‘just a guitar.’ But the hole those things leave in our lives is not so easily filled.

    Now I have to go home and play for my grandparents up in fucking heaven, even though I’m an atheist.

    1. I hear you. If anything ever happened to my ’61 Hofner Solid bass I don’t know if i’d ever get over it.

  9. Ugly? It looks like a Rickenbacker with a Fender headstock. Mmm. Rickenbacker. She should definitely treat herself to a Rickenbacker until the old bass turns up. *drool*

  10. Just saying, but the reason that bass is so special is that it was a gift from Mike Watt, and he commissioned it especially for her. It’s not special because it shoots flames, it’s special because of all the sentiment attached to it.

  11. I’ve had all my gear stolen and it absolutely sucks. Peter Buck got his guitar back, so there’s always hope.

    1. There’s a story about someone once stealing Rory Gallagher’s Strat (the legendary one that’s missing nearly all of its paint) and him getting it back after the police found it in a ditch. Apparently the thief said it was cursed, and he just wanted to get rid of it. I think it was just all the bad kharma directed at him by the whole of Ireland!

  12. I’ve emailed the story to the BF and asked him kindly to post a link to this on the bassplayer forum where he’s active, let’s hope it falls into the hands of one of them, it wouldn’t be the first time that happens, we have a few local stolen and recovered stories like that, musicians look out for eachother in general.

  13. Three-quarter scale? What in the world stings do you put on it?

    You know, Jaco’s famous Fender Jazz was stolen many years ago, and it’s never turned up.

  14. The overall quality of instruments has improved, but some do sound better, feel better, or stay in tune better especially as they age whether most can hear the difference or not. Also, a person can get attached to an instrument often because of how you got it or which bands you played in with it. Another factor is people can associate you with an instrument. I’d say most of McCartney’s best playing was done on his Rick, but to this day people associate him with one of his Hofner’s.


    Feb. 19th. 2011
    As per watt from pedro…

    “k got her bass back – baka tried to sell
    it at a shithard center in hollywood – yatta!”

    Wish I could of been there to even the score.

    Does anyone have a line on the person(s) involved?

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