Have you seen their harmonicas?
Craig Bracken hopes you’ll look twice if you hear the mellow strains of a harmonica. The blues musician is asking people to keep an ear out in the hope he might recover his stolen collection.
Mr Bracken parked his ute in a lot behind a strip of shops in Royal Oak while he was at an appointment.
He came back 40 minutes later to find the rear passenger window was smashed and thieves had taken several belongings including a case holding around 45 harmonicas.
‘‘I was going to band rehearsal that afternoon so I had my harps with me. I usually never, ever take them in the car. It was just that one day,’’ he says.
Harmonicas have little value to another musician as they should not be shared for hygiene reasons.
But to Mr Bracken these ones are special.
‘‘Some of them are customised. Some of them I’ve had for 10 years. Some of them I bought from the States.
of work gone on there and the value around $3000.’’
Mr Bracken has been playing harmonica for about 28 years and currently plays with blues band The
is probably Flaming Mudcats. The band was in the middle of recording its second album when the instruments were nicked.
‘‘I got most of the album down before it happened. There were just a few bits and pieces I didn’t. So I had to make do with what I had and bought some harps to finish it off.’’
The stolen collection was housed in a modified microphone case which is black with a silver band.
It contained mostly major diatonic harmonicas along with a few expensive chromatic ones.
‘‘They are all different keys that you can’t just go and buy off the shelf, you have to order them in and it’s a hassle. It’s not just things you can go and pick up tomorrow.’’
Mr Bracken is trying to get the word out in case anybody comes across the case or instruments.
‘‘I’ve been trying to get at every harmonica player in Auckland and to see if they have heard anything.’’
There is a distinctive yellow sticker on each harmonica indicating the key signature.
The Flaming Mudcats, from left: Sean McCarthy, Ian Thomson, Craig Bracken and Doug Bygrave.
Go to aucklandcityharbournews. co.nz and click Latest Edition to see a video of The Flaming Mudcats perform.