There goes my hero: Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett's gift to Leeds musician after theft
When Musician Sinclair Belle spoke to us back in September about the theft of his limited edition guitar, the most he was hoping for was that someone might recognise it was stolen if it was offered up for sale.
But the YEP’s story travelled all the way to the United States, where it caught the eye of the rockstar who had designed the guitar itself.
Sinclair was in total disbelief when Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shifflet got in touch to commiserate – and generously offered to send him a replacement Fender Telecaster Deluxe custom.
“I was really surprised,” Sinclair said. “I wasn’t expecting much to come from the article other than hopefully, at best, somebody might say it had been brought into their shop.”
The original guitar was stolen from the boot of Sinclair’s car after he finished a rehearsal with Leeds-based band Happy Daggers.
When our article went online, it was shared widely by members of the official UK Foo Fighters fan group and word reached Chris himself.
Sinclair, 31, said: “It was a Friday evening. I was winding down from the week when a message come through the band’s Facebook page.
“It was a message from Chris Shiflett. He said he had seen the article and to let him know if I wanted another one sending. Initially I thought it was a hoax.”
The message from Chris said: “Hey Sinclair. I read about your guitar getting stolen. Bummer! I’d be happy to send you another.”
As the pair went on to exchange more messages, Chris added: “Nothing worse than getting your guitar ripped off!”
Needless to say, Sinclair was taken aback by the generosity shown and took Chris up on his kind offer.
When he returned from a holiday a few weeks later, a brand new guitar was waiting for him at home.
Sinclair said: “It was exactly the same guitar, but in gold as they didn’t have any of the white ones. I played it straight away and we had a rehearsal the following weekend. The rest of the band were quite astounded.”
A message of thanks sent to Chris received the simple reply: “I hope it serves you well my friend.”
Even now, Sinclair is stunned by the events of the past month or so.
“It’s totally weird,” he said. “If I’m honest, I can’t believe it actually happened.”
Last week he performed live with guitar for the first time when the band played Oporto in Leeds.
They have previously played at venues and festivals across the UK including Leeds Festival, which the Foo Fighters headlined for the third time in 2012.
Happy Daggers are headlining at The Wardrobe in Leeds on December 10 when they will be supported by Pneuma, Meihaus and Peakes.