A custom-made, $10,000 guitar belonging to heavy metal rocker Zakk Wylde was stolen from his tour bus Friday night outside The Chicago Theatre, Wylde said.
Wylde, founder of the band Black Label Society and former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, was in town as part of the Experience Hendrix Tour, a celebration of the late guitar legend's music featuring Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang and others.
After finishing his set, Wylde, 47, said he brought the guitar to the tour bus and went back inside to watch the rest of the show. When it concluded around 11:30 p.m., he said he went out to the bus to grab his leather vest when he noticed the vest -- and guitar -- were no longer inside.
"I thought somebody might have picked it up and put it in the back lounge (inside the theatre)," Wylde said when reached by phone Saturday from the tour's next stop in Ames, Iowa. But a search of the lounge came up empty, he said, as did a thorough search of the bus.
"In 25-plus years, I've never had anything stolen," he said.
Wylde said he and others asked the theater to check its surveillance footage near the stage door. That footage, he said, showed three men entering the bus at 10:11 p.m., shortly after his tour manager failed to lock the bus door while stocking it with food and ice.
"Nothing gets stolen off tour buses unless you don't lock them," he said. "Rule number one: when you get off this (expletive deleted) bus, you lock the (expletive deleted) door and you check the handle."
Chicago Police Department Officer Veejay Zala confirmed the report of the theft, which police are investigating.
According to a police report, Wylde told officers the venue has surveillance footage of the incident.
"I had my guitar in the tour bus because this is the home," Wylde said, adding that his veteran tour manager feels "beyond horrendous (and) beyond embarrassed."
Wylde values the guitar at $10,000. It's one of two aged Pelham Blue Les Paul guitars bearing his signature bulls-eye pattern and it was custom-made about four years ago, he said. He took to Twitter and Instagram, asking fans to be on the lookout for the guitar.
"Hopefully these morons are going to go down to the flea market, or the pawn shop," he said.
Tribune reporter Rosemary Regina Sobol contributed to this report.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun