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Joe Bonamassa Asks for Safe Return of Missing Fender "The Bludgeon" Nocaster

Joe Bonamassa (left) and a Fender The Bludgeon '51 Nocaster
(Image credit: Joby Sessions/Future, Joe Bonamassa Official Store)

Joe Bonamassa has taken to social media to ask for the safe return of one of his signature Fender The Bludgeon '51 Nocasters, which went missing while in transit in Nashville.

The $8,500 guitar was on its way to Guitar World for review when it went MIA, raising the blues guitar star's suspicions of foul play. Noting that it was the first of his guitars, in his 31 years of collecting, that had ever been stolen, he said that the shipment had been labeled by FedEx as "missing without recourse nor hope of a solution."

“Dear FedEX, I would like my guitar back," Bonamassa wrote (opens in new tab) in an initial statement on Twitter this past Sunday, May 16. "It’s JB006 Fender Custom Nocaster that was on its way to Guitar World for review 10 days ago. 

“You say it’s missing. I say it was stolen. Your own videos prove it was scanned into your distribution center in Nashville and never left.”

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“Just off the phone with the very nice representative from FedEX," Bonamassa wrote (opens in new tab) in a follow-up Instagram post. "So basically what they are saying is that my guitar is MIA within their system without recourse nor hope of solution.

“There is a video of it going on their truck from their facility on 3rd and Broadway Nashville, Tn. and scanned into the distribution center only a few miles away.

“I will try not to play detective here, but I would surmise that it was stolen probably by someone who had access to the truck or the distribution facility," he continued. "To be honest, a 23 pound guitar box does not just disappear that easily with or without a tracking number.

“If you see JB006 Fender Custom Shop Nocaster for sale or hanging around, it is stolen and I would like it returned. No questions asked, all I would like is the return of the test guitar that was on its way to Guitar World for review.”

This potential in-transit theft of a top-of-the-line signature guitar recalls an eerily similar situation from last October, when $95,000 worth of Gibson Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Customs were stolen from a Sweetwater truck at the Flying J Travel Center in Whiteland, Indiana.

Jackson Maxwell
Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.