UPDATE, 4:15 p.m. I just got off the phone with Portugal. The Man frontman John Gourley and talked to him about the robbery. He said that the van and trailer were parked in an attended lot with a security guard. Someone was able to get to the van, pop off the casing to the lock and start the van.
Gourley was back in Portland, Ore., when he heard the news. “I wish I had been there to see the reaction of our tour manager,” he joked.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that mechanic Juan Ocampo has been charged by Chicago Police for theft for allegedly purchasing the stolen equipment. He is not charged with stealing the van and trailer.
Gourley didn’t know what items had been recovered and didn’t want to dwell on the things the band might not get back. “That stuff happens. It doesn’t matter where you are,” he said, noting that the van wasn’t parked in a bad neighborhood. “It’s just stuff…We’ll get to try something new. I think it’s best to look at it that way.”
He also noted the outpouring of support the band received. “(The gear) wasn’t found because it was PTM; it’s because people got behind it and said you can’t steal any band’s gear.”
And the coverage the band received after the robbery: “When’s the last time you saw a record promoted on NBC?”
I also asked him about the long-form music video for the songs “Sleep Forever” and “Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)” from of the recently released “In the Mountain in the Cloud.” The video was shot behind the singer’s childhood home on Cook Inlet. That boat in it? That belonged to Joe Redington, father of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.
As for the premise, it was one of many ideas Gourley and director Michael Ragen had been bouncing around. The band’s label and manager liked the idea and suggested flying the two to Alaska to film it.
“All we had written was ‘Falls and shoots himself,’ ” Gourley said. “The whole thing was on the fly. There was a storyline, but it’s just the way Mike and I work together.”
Looks like some good news may be on the way from the Portugal. The Man camp. After playing Lollapalooza in Chicago two weekends ago, the band’s van, trailer and gear were stolen. A day later, the van and trailer were found empty. On Saturday, Portugal posted on Twitter that the gear may have been located: “News on equipment next week. Gotta give space to check counts on gear and to the Chicago PD to finish up. May take time but good news.”
After the band took to Twitter to post lists of the gear stolen and ask fans to take those lists to pawn shops, news of the robbery was picked up in publications across the country and across the Web. Hollywood Reporter stated that the equipment was found in a house and that lead singer John Gourley thought the thieves must have felt they’d have to hold on to it for a while rather than sell it because of the media coverage.
Good work, Internet.
UPDATE: The band posted a note on its website explaining how the Chicago Police Department was able to track down most the Portugal's gear and joked about how it took a robbery to make the band a trending topic on Twitter.