'Irreplaceable' instruments pinched from West Coast rock band 54-40

VANCOUVER - West Coast rock band 54-40 says it was robbed of seven ``irreplaceable'' instruments ahead of two shows in Vancouver Friday and Saturday night.

In a pair of statements posted to the group's Facebook page, the band says the instruments were stolen from a rented cube van Friday morning in New Westminster, B.C.

The seven stringed instruments include a blond 1957 Fender Esquire electric guitar, a 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Standard and a 1954 Gibson Florentine electric mandolin.

Band Manager Allen Moy said the instruments hold great value to the group, beyond just their monetary worth.

``While we might be able to collect insurance money, of course, it's difficult to replace them, they're really kind of one of a kind instruments.''

Moy added that the band members know there's a risk taking prized vintage guitars on the road, but their attitude is that they've earned them and ``they're meant to be played.''

The band, whose hits include ``I Go Blind,'' ``One Day in Your Life'' and ``Ocean Pearl,'' is urging anyone with information to contact them or police and is offering a $5,000 reward for their safe return.

Moy said area guitar stores had been notified to watch out for the instruments, and that police were hopeful they would eventually ``surface.''

``It's pretty hard to move this type of equipment because of its uniqueness, and with the profile that the band has everybody is on alert.''

Moy noted that some of the guitars had been acquired well over a decade ago, and while he described the band as being ``pretty broken up'' over their loss, he said the Thanksgiving weekend shows at the Commodore Ballroom would go on.