This post has been updated. See note below for details.
Thieves put a major damper on the latest Southland tour swing by A Flock of Seagulls — among the first wave of early 1980s bands that found an audience on MTV — making off with what group members estimate was $70,000 worth of musical equipment in a van stolen from the parking lot of the hotel in Downey where the group was staying.
Video from the hotel’s surveillance cameras shows a man emerging from a car parked nearby, walking to the van, quickly finding his way inside and driving off.
The band had played in Bellflower on Saturday and parked the van at a Comfort Inn in Downey on the way to perform a free show in Woodland Hills on Sunday. Hotel video indicates the van was stolen about 2 a.m.
“Somebody just broke into it, stole our whole van with all our equipment, clothing, band gear, cellphones, everything you need when you’re on the road -- all your good stuff, all your good clothes, a bunch of expensive band equipment,” said singer Mike Score, the only remaining original member of the Liverpool group whose biggest U.S. hit was 1982’s “I Ran (So Far Away).” “A lot of stuff that’s really irreplaceable.”
That includes computer hard drives containing much work Score had done on the road on a new solo album.
Using rented equipment, the band played the Woodland Hills date as scheduled, but Score said the group was challenged using equipment “that was totally foreign to us.”
“When they steal stuff like that,” he said, “they steal from people that pay to see the shows because the band is unable to play the songs as people want to hear them.”
A Flock of Seagulls was scheduled to return to England on Tuesday.
Here’s the video of the theft, which has been posted on YouTube:
Updated July 25 at 12:34 a.m.: The attribution for singer Mike Score’s quotes was inadvertently omitted from the original version of this post. They should have been attributed to the Daily News.
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