By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Last month was a bad month for singer-songwriter Daniel Folmer. From start to finish, April dealt him a handful of troubles and misfortunes that sound like a sad plot plucked from some old country-western jukebox favorite. The final blow landed when, on the last weekend of the month, someone burglarized his apartment. While Folmer took a 30-minute nap in his bedroom, someone entered his Denton apartment through an unlocked door and left with a slew of his most cherished possessions.
"I slept through the whole thing," Folmer says. "When I woke up, I had no idea what had happened. But, when I walked into the living room, I immediately noticed that someone had moved my Gretsch [guitar]. And then I started noticing the things that were missing."
The perp(s) left with Folmer's plastic-backed Ovation acoustic guitar, the guitar's soft case and his Xbox as well as all of the games. "This really is a devastating, heart wrenching loss," he says. "I'd had that guitar for eight or nine years. By now, I've written hundreds of songs on it, and it'll take time for me to find another guitar that I can write songs on again. "
Curiously, before leaving, the burglar(s) also grabbed a Hannah Montana spiral notebook that Folmer estimates contained about 20 new songs and countless lyric fragments. "Whoever took it must have seen the spiral, flipped through it and thought, 'Man, I'm really gonna fuck this guy over'!" he says. Many of the new songs were written just before the burglary, in the wake of what Folmer calls "a rough couple of weeks."
"In one day," he says. "My girlfriend left me, my favorite horse where I work died and my best friend got hit by a bus. I was literally burying the horse when I got the 'we-need-to-talk' text from my girlfriend. And those new songs were me trying to work all of that stuff out and make some sense out of it." Don't know if Folmer had made sense of his hard times before he took that nap, but, obviously for a songwriter, losing that kind of emotionally charged material is a big loss. But, eventually he'll write more songs and the guitar and Xbox will be replaced. So, it makes sense that Folmer would call something that can't be replaced "the biggest loss."
Tucked in the guitar case with the Ovation, there was a personalized tooled-leather guitar strap that says "Daniel." Folmer says the strap, which was a childhood gift from his aunt, holds "a deep sentimental value." "Losing that strap is like loosing some part of my identity," he says.
Naturally, if you come across a black Ovation guitar with a "Daniel" strap, please contact Folmer via MySpace.