Well, Andrew gave me a bit of unfortunate news, informing me they no longer make a 22" Signature China. So, given I needed these cymbals and pronto, we instead made a decision for him to send me a smaller size Signature China along with the other cymbals that made up the set so I could begin my tour.
The news about the 22" China no longer being available damn near killed me as I love that cymbal beyond belief. So not wanting to be the hapless victim I decided to take some aggressive steps in getting my beloved cymbals back, back where they belonged. I wasted no time and jumped on my computer and created a flyer listing what was stolen and included my name and phone. I then drove to a number of local pawnshops in the area, introduced myself to the employees and told them what happened to my cymbals. I beseeched them to ring me if my cymbals "mysteriously" showed up, letting them know in no uncertain terms that I'd really like to meet this person up close and personal like, nudge nudge, wink wink.
Later that afternoon, as I was walking out the door to perform with Billy Harvey, the phone rang and it was one of the pawnshops letting me know that two guys had just tried to sell my cymbals to them for a mere twenty bucks!!! Once the employees asked the thieves a question or two, asking for and getting a Xerox copy of his ID, the thieves smelled something was up and high tailed it out of there. I hurried out the door and drove to the pawnshop where the employees gleefully gave me the info they'd collected, giving me a pretty good description of the thieves, too, mentioning my cymbals were wrapped in a blanket, the same blanket that covered them in my truck!!!!! One of the men pointed me in the direction they were heading, on foot as they were, so I hopped back in my truck and started driving around the area, desperately looking for the thieves.
This particular street in question is very lively with outdoor markets, taco stands, a bunch of itinerant foot traffics and such. But I was determined.
Right as I was proceeding through one crowded intersection, I glanced to my right and from behind the building on the corner I spotted a small rounded portion of my blanket sticking out. I'd found my man!
"I drove around the block and parked in the alleyway. I couldn't get out of my truck fast enough and as I cleared the alley, lo and behold here come the two thieves carrying my cymbals still wrapped in my blanket.
"Utilizing a form of going "invisible" while walking in a crowd, something I picked up from William Burroughs, the notorious beat writer, I was able to walk towards them without attracting attention to myself; the thieves oblivious, clowning, laughing out loud at their good fortune.
"Eventually, after timing my steps, the three of us intersected on the sidewalk and without a word spoken I reached up and savagely grabbed the collar of the one who held my cymbals. The element of surprise worked; one man stumbling backward, falling flat on his behind, while the other's eyes popped out his head, realizing much to his disappointment that he was in a death grip by a very wide shouldered, pony-tailed man, wearing a sarong, no less! His world would never be the same, I'm sure.
""Before the man could get a grip on what was happening, in a very even voice I told him, "Those are my cymbals. Give them to me... NOW."
"The thief tried to get "street" on me, all bug-eyed and squealing about how he'd found the cymbals beside a dumpster and again, not wanting to listen to any parts of "his story", I didn't mince words. Remaining in my clutches, and still in the even, calculating voice, I told the man very matter of factly, "Drop the cymbals now or I will hurt you." I meant every word.
"The man grew strangely silent, realizing, as he looked into my eyes that I was someone who didn't lay claim to any parts of give a shit, so he dropped the cymbals and I let him go free. The two tore off without another word spoken. I figure all of us were equally happy at that point, however for entirely different reasons each.
"I can't tell you how good it felt to pick my babies off the concrete, wrapping them up in my blanket and taking them back to my truck.
"When I got back to my abode I called Andrew immediately and told him the good news, relishing the sight of my cymbals laid out on my bed as we spoke, back where they belonged.
"The next evening I performed the first gig on my tour with Patricia which spans over the course of the next few months. My babies were a bit scuffed up from the experience, but they've never sounded better, responding to my loving touch and caress.
"Moral of the story? Don't even think about taking my Paiste's. There will be hell to pay... And I mean it...