BRYAN BELLER Helps Police Recover His Stolen Gear And Apprehend Thieves Using Detective Work

Holy shit. The Aristocrats bassist, Bryan Beller, has been on one hell of a journey these past several days. A former editor for Bass Player Magazine and professional writer for over 20 years, Bryan previously chronicled some of his tales in a blog series called “The Life of Bryan” that he started back in 1995. Because of just how damn chaotic and riveting his life’s been more recently, Bryan revived the series for “Act XLV: Storage Wars.”


After waking up from a startling dream involving a bus crash,

Twelve hours later, I was standing in front of my storage space, watching a locksmith use a grinder to cut off a circular lock that wasn’t mine…The lock finally gave way and I threw open the door. It was still mostly full. I looked to the right, where I kept the instruments. Those were gone, all seven of them. I looked to the top left for my rare SWR Mo’ Bass Amplifier. That was gone. Speaker cabinets, various other amps, CD inventory, and other personal boxes were still there, though not all in place. It seemed they knew what was worth taking.

I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it would be to find your passion and livelihood stripped away from you like that. Especially after putting gear into a storage space to protect it from forest fires threatening your home. Bryan Beller didn’t let the tragedy ground him, though. He took to Facebook and received an overwhelmingly positive response to the tune of over 13,000 shares.

It didn’t take too much for Sam Ash to contact Bryan about several pieces of gear:

I saw my [SWR] Mo’ Bass head. Then they brought out a soft pedalboard bag and unzipped it, and my mouth fell open. It was Guthrie Govan’s analog pedalboard!

Guthrie's recovered pedalboard.

Guthrie’s recovered pedalboard.

At this point, Bryan took to conducting his own detective work after Sam Ash supplied him with a pawn slip including the thieves’ personal information:

Pawn slip. Name, address. How about I Google that to see if it’s real?

The address came up. A nice suburb in Santa Clarita, not far from where I was. Not the wrong side of the tracks at all. The second result was a background check service. “Get detailed background information on [Bonnie],” it said. Hmmm. Click.

“For $30 you can have all public information on [Bonnie]” – how to find police records online about her, phone numbers, known associates, etc. I thought, I have $30. Click. Click. ClickClickClick. Purchase.

Boom. Criminal records. Multiple felonies and misdemeanors. Phone number. E-mail address. I put the e-mail address into the Facebook search field, and: BOOM. She came up under a different last name. Pictures, posts, a whole life’s story. The woman and the address were real. And it was all only three miles from where I was. I finished my salad and jumped in the car.

I’d hate to spoil the ending, but the fiasco eventually resulted in this:

Cops step up when basses are on the line, yo.

Cops step up when basses are on the line, yo.

Unfortunately, this journey is far from over. That being said, Bryan Beller has made some stellar progress with his own investigating and the help of law enforcement. If being a bass god gets tiresome, there’s always detective work out there for ya, man. Be sure to read the entire story here.

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Gear Gods intern Maxwell studied English at Cal Poly Pomona and has since realized life ain’t all about semicolons and syntax. He’s studying audio now, and will probably judge your music taste before your grammar.