Northampton musician hopes for return of missing 12-string guitar

Last modified: Saturday, February 01, 2014
NORTHAMPTON — City resident Burrie Jenkins’ 12-string guitar is not worth anywhere near as much as the 300-year-old Stradivarius violin reported stolen earlier this week from a concert violinist in Milwaukee.

Still, he says the role it plays in his life as a working musician is just as valuable — and its loss has been as devastating.

Jenkins, 52, was preparing for a gig at a coffee house in Fitchburg Jan. 24 when he temporarily set his guitar, in a soft-shell case, and amplifier down on the sidewalk near where his car was parked on Market Street a few yards from Joe’s Cafe.

When he drove off a few minutes later with a friend around 6:45 p.m., he was unaware that he’d left the instrument behind.

“I got to the venue an hour later and realized I’d left the guitar on the street,” said Jenkins, who studied at Berklee College of Music and has performed country, rock, jazz and folk music locally for years.

In addition, “all the music, all the songs I’ve been working on for all these years were in that case,” he said. “The stolen Stradivarius that just hit the papers? This was no less important to me.”

Jenkins said he bought his acoustic Taylor guitar a couple of years ago in California. The instrument, which he estimated is worth about $4,000, is reddish brown with a sunburst design that turns to orange near the soundhole.

Without the guitar, Jenkins said he ended up having to cancel last week’s gig in Fitchburg and he’s been scrambling ever since to find a replacement instrument. He was set to appear Thursday evening as scheduled at Ibiza Tapas Wine Bar in Northampton, playing a six-string guitar that had belonged to his sister.

Jenkins put posters up around his Main Street neighborhood and also reported the loss of his 12-string to the Northampton Police.

He said he doesn’t like to think his missing instrument has been stolen. Instead, he’s hoping someone will hear he’s looking for it and return the guitar.

“This is about people doing the right thing,” Jenkins said. “If I found an expensive instrument, I would turn it in. It just has to come back.”

Jenkins asked anyone with information about the guitar to contact him at 336-2511 or burriejenkins@gmail.com