Unique guitar taken at O’Hare; its owner gets lots of love in return - Chicago Tribune
"Canadian musician Harry Manx said he felt alone and insecure Friday as he stepped onstage just hours after his signature Indian guitar had been stolen in Chicago.
But a Facebook message he posted about the theft that night went viral, producing 3.5 million views, multiple offers of help and, ultimately, an international shipment containing a replacement.
Manx filed a police report saying that the guitar, called a Mohan veena, was stolen earlier that Friday at a baggage claim at O’Hare International Airport.
That night he posted a message on the social media website, telling fans what happened and pleading for the return of the guitar he had been playing for 20 years.
Forty minutes into the show, Manx checked the social media site and found 50,000 people had seen his note. By Sunday morning, he said, that figure had ballooned to 3.5 million views. Thousands of people have shared the post and at least three people have offered to send him a new one…
A musician since the age of 15, Manx has made the Mohan veena a signature piece in his repertoire. His music is a marriage of blues and classical Indian.
Only a few musicians play the instrument in India, where it was created by Grammy Award-winning musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Manx traveled to India and studied under Bhatt for 12 years….
The outpouring has uplifted Manx, who will soon be touring in Canada, England and Central Europe. He hopes to get the guitar back but said the biggest prize has been seeing the generosity from friends and strangers, especially those in Chicago.
“I sort of think it’s a fair trade,” said Manx. “He can have the Veena, I’ll take the love I have here. That’s probably worth more than the instrument. At the end of the day, it’s just wood.”
(Awesome story! Harry Manx is a Harmonia Mundi distributed artist (Dog My Cat Records), and V.M. Bhatt’s 2010 record Sleepless Nights with Matt Malley is on World Village.)