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SugarHill Studios Burglarized Over The Weekend

6:08 p.m.: Updated to include list of stolen gear.

Legendary Houston recording complex SugarHill Studios, subject of the recent book House of Hits by local historian Dr. Roger Wood and studio co-owner/engineer Andy Bradley, was burglarized over the weekend by thieves who were probably not the sharpest knives in the drawer, studio co-owner and engineer Dan Workman told Rocks Off this afternoon.

Workman would not give a dollar estimate on the stolen gear, but he said the value of the stolen instruments and studio equipment was "fairly substantial" and added that the thieves bypassed other memorabilia that was worth much more. Two instruments that were stolen belonged to SugarHill, as were a couple belonging to a band Workman declined to name, but everything else belonged to either him - including a bass guitar he painted himself - or the other studio engineers, he added.

The thieves entered through the area where SugarHill stores its vast archive of tapes and master recordings, but none of those were stolen either, Workman said. Also stolen was some petty cash from the studio's accounting office, but no checks or credit-card slips.

"They went through things like they were looking for money or drugs," Workman said. "They walked past some very, very expensive stuff you wouldn't realize was worth a lot of money unless you're in the game."

From what Workman could tell, the thieves unscrewed the metal siding from the side of the building and broke a hole through which they entered and continued through his office. "The place was a wreck," when he and other staffers arrived for work this morning, he said.

Although SugarHill is equipped with security cameras, he said studio employees or police were unable to make any visual identifications or tell how many thieves broke in because they came in through a "blind spot." No fingerprints were found because the burglars apparently wore gloves, he added, and they did not enter any of SugarHill's recording areas.

Workman asked anyone with information about this weekend's break-in to please call the studio at 713-926-4431. Anonymous tips are welcome.

"We just want our stuff back," he said.

STOLEN ITEMS

• Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar (1975 Sunburst w/EMG pickups), indentifying marks: 'Dan Workman' truss rod cover, example

• Bass (Robin Ranger w/ EMG pickups and Badass Bridge, identifying marks: custom pen and ink graphic on the pick guard, example

• Keyboard - Casio SK1 with soft case, with case, example

• 320 gig Other World Computing FW800 drive, example

• Brenthaven Backpack, example

• Acoustic Guitar (Dreadnaught Martin 800 DM model w/pickup) 2004 Natural wood no finish, example

• Banjo-2007 Good Time Banjo/Grand Old Opry (pale wood), example

• Bass (1971 Gibson EB-0 Walnut finish) S#- 922996, example

• Bass (1976 - B50 Guild), example

• Keyboard - Yamaha S90 S# - UALN01091, example

• Keyboard - Yamaha PF70 S# - 4629, example

• Keyboard - Roland D50 S# - 854542H example

• Keyboard - M-Audio Radium 49 example

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray