Whether or not Sonic Youth still exists as a band has yet to be determined — but fans of the noisy grunge outfit can relish in some happy band-related news today. Two more guitars connected with a robbery that left Sonic Youth without much of their customized gear in July, 1999 have been recovered.
In a brief interview posted on Pitchfork today, Ranaldo describes how fans correctly identified two of the long-lost guitars and alerted Sonic Youth’s management to the potential discoveries. A white Jazzmaster used by Thurston Moore during the band’s Washing Machine days was discovered on eBay, while Ranaldo’s burgundy mist Jazzmaster appeared in a trade discussion on the Offset Guitars forum.
Ranaldo’s guitar appeared relatively unchanged from its 1999 state, still bearing many of the distinctly Sonic Youthian modifications that give the band its uniquely angular guitar tones. Moore’s axe, as show below, appears to have undergone serious “restoration” and lost most of its alt-rock charms over the years.
The band maintains an extensive archive of its gear online — including a separate page for stolen instruments, listing various identifying elements that can help fans correctly identify stolen Sonic Youth gear.
While guitar nerds and gearheads are often ridiculed for their obsessive knowledge of serial numbers and headstock designs, there’s no denying these Sonic Youth fans deserve recognition for their Fender indentifying skills.