For anyone familiar with the fate of beloved Dallas rock band Spector 45, there are few things that could make the story any more tragic than it already is. Within a few weeks of each other, two of the band's members, Frank Campagna (a gifted and charismatic young singer and guitarist known to most as Frankie 45) and Adam Carter, committed suicide, a devastating blow to fans of a band with close ties to Deep Ellum.
But now there's a new, sad twist to the story: an old guitar of Campagna's, donated to Club Dada after his death by his father, has been stolen from the bar.
Josh Florence, owner of Club Dada and City Tavern, tells us that sometime overnight Dada was broken into. The suspects apparently threw a patio chair through one of the rear windows in the bar. "[It was] literally the only thing they took -- well, I think they took a couple bottles of whiskey," he explains. "They crawled over thousands of dollars of sound equipment to break that guitar out of the case and steal it."
The guitar, which had been mounted in a display case on the wall above the sound booth, was an orange hollow-body Gretsch -- "just a beautiful piece," according to Florence. Its presence inside Dada was especially poignant: when the bar was reopened early in 2011, the first show held there was a memorial for Campagna. (He committed suicide shortly after New Years of that year.)
"There were more people there than have ever been there since," Florence recalls of the memorial.
Campagna's father, Frank Sr., who owns Kettle Art Gallery in Deep Ellum, had donated the guitar. For Florence, the primary concern at this point is getting the guitar back for the family's sake. "This was a prized possession," he says. "As Club Dada, we kind of felt like this was a sacred deal for Frank. We were responsible for it and we feel bad that it was gone. We want to do everything we can to track it down."
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Anyone with possible information regarding the theft is encouraged contact Florence at email@example.com or the Dallas Police Department at 214-671-3001. Florence says they do not plan to press charges.
Here's a photo of the guitar as it was mounted on the wall inside Dada: