Portugal. The Man played a rocking set at the 20th Anniversary of Lollapalooza on August 7th but shortly after their moods were shifted hard. It was after the Sunday show that the Portland band realized that their trailer and van, along with all of their gear, had been stolen. Inside were vintage guitars, drums, keyboards, effect pedals and microphones. Their Ford van and trailer were taken from an attended parking lot in Chicago. Lead singer John Gourley summed it up for everyone.
“Basically every bit of money Portugal. The Man has made over the last five years was in that trailer.”
The band quickly turned to social media. Taking to their Twitter account, they tweeted the information of their van and trailer. Later they tweeted the details of the gear inside so people could check pawn shops or alert them to what was going on. Lollapalooza retweeted PTM’s tweet which is how I found out. After Lolla retweeted it moved like a tidal wave. Celebrities, as well as fans, all joined in the effort to find the bands gear.
Social media has saved the day.
Today, via the bands website, Gourley left a heart felt thank you to everyone who helped out. They had gotten a call saying that most of their gear had been recovered. Remarkable really for something that has been missing for almost 10 days. Below is an excerpt from Gourley’s thank you letter.
“Laying in bed at 9:30pm Friday night, fittingly depressed over the theft of our gear, I received a phone call from our tour manager “The Chicago PD found our gear! Its not all there but it sounds like most of it is!”. Good news right? A win for the band in a situation that seemingly happens monthly in the van and trailer touring world and so rarely followed by good news and equipment being returned. Well, it is good news and it is more than just a win for PTM, it is also a win for twitter, the world of social media, the Chicago police, and old school journalism. We had taken notice of this as soon as the first tweets started rolling, as the blogs were posted and the news story aired. It’s the sort of thing that brings you close to tears (in the manliest way, of course). Tears not because we had a chance of getting our things back because, after all, they are just things but because this was people banding together over a cause. People banding together because “I was robbed before and fuck that”. I’m sure we all know how it feels, and even surer still because of this response. It is violating, it is unfair, it is wrong. As much as I found humor in the fact that it took a robbery to make us a trending topic on twitter I knew it was more than the band, it wasn’t about “us” at the end of the day, it was about all of us. This is a serious win for everyone that has been violated in some way. I have said this before and it will not sound any less cliche’ saying it now: We can do anything when we work together. Yeah, we may not get all of our things back, most certainly guitars were sent off maybe the personal things have already been distributed, little things are harder to track and easily lost in the mix but really, who cares? They are just things. The most important thing to remember is that we did this together.”