Country singer-songwriter Dale Watson is hoping Houston fans can help him find his beloved, unique guitar. The instrument as well as his tour merchandise was stolen while he and his band were having dinner at a restaurant. Watson, 59, is an independent musician who began performing as a teen after his family moved to Pasadena, Texas.
On Monday, Watson shared a pair of photos of the unique guitar. He said it was stolen while he and his band had dinner at Christie's Sea Food Restaurant in Houston. "All the merch, and my guitar was stolen... Houston and the surrounding area, Please keep your eyes open and help me find my guitar," he wrote, asking fans to spread the news on social media. "Thanks so much."
A few hours later, Watson shared a close-up view of the guitar, which has the logo for his band the Lone Stars on the front. "Last Saturday my van was stolen and besides my personal things and a lot of money, the one thing that has been with me almost 30 years is my Guitar," Watson wrote. "It's pretty unique so if by chance you see it in a pawn shop please let me or the Houston Police know. Muchas Gracias." Watson added that he did get his van back.
Although Watson lost his beloved guitar, he's not letting that stop him from performing. His next show is scheduled for Thursday at Hernando's Hideaway in Memphis. He has a show at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville scheduled for Friday. Watson is touring almost non-stop through late October.
The guitar theft brought out support from Watson's fans on Instagram. "Damn!!! There's no way that thing is gonna get far without someone recognizing that it's incredibly special," artist Kacie Marie wrote. "Imagine stealing a sword and finding out it's Excalibur, " another fan wrote, urging the unknown thief to "return it, apologize and hope for mercy. Wishing you and your beautiful guitar a swift reunion."
Gear thefts are common in Houston, as Saving Country Music notes. The outlet did an in-depth report on the issue in 2016, and Houston police eventually established a task force to specifically crack down on the problem. That year, there were 130 arrests linked to instrument theft.
The problem persists though, and it's not exclusive to Houston. In August 2021, a man was arrested in Nashville for allegedly stealing seven guitars belonging to aspiring musician Nick Britt-Cunningham. Raymond Worden Jr. was arrested for the crime after Britt-Cunningham shared footage from his Ring camera with police. Worden and another man allegedly stole his instrument by getting into his home through a backdoor when he was not home.