Dale Watson’s Legendary Coin-Encrusted Guitar Stolen

There’s few more recognizable instruments in independent country music than Dale Watson’s Telecaster-style guitar with the coins encrusted on the face. And in unfortunate news that is all too common these days, it was stolen in Houston, TX, along with Dale’s van that also included merch, personal items, and money. Dale did get the van back, but everything else—including the guitar—are still at large.

“On Saturday, July 16th, at 5:11 pm, we went to eat dinner at Christie’s Seafood Restaurant in Houston and my black van was stolen while we were eating dinner. All the merch, and my guitar was stolen,” Dale says. “The one thing that has been with me for 30 years is my guitar.”

Though Dale Watson is a Fender guy, this particular guitar is a Tomkins model Australian-made Telecaster-style guitar. Dale Watson customized the guitar by switching out some of the components, and then attaching coins from all over the world to the body. It also has a Lone Star Beer logo in the center of the pick guard. It’s as recognizable to Dale Watson fans as his silver pompadour. It’s also so unique guitar that a would-be fence will have a difficult time selling it.

Houston, TX is notorious for the amount of gear thefts that happen in the city per year. In 2016, Saving Country Music published an in-depth report about the gear theft problem in Houston. The outrage over the issue resulted in Houston setting up a task force and eventually going on a citywide organizational crackdown resulting in 130 arrests. Still this problem of vans and trailers from musicians and contractors being stolen in Houston persists.

Houston and the surrounding area, please keep your eyes open and help me find my guitar, Dale asks. “It’s pretty unique so if by chance you see it in a pawn shop please let me or the Houston Police know.”

© 2022 Saving Country Music
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