“It restores my faith in humanity and karma,” said Smutty, who was called from a homeless shelter in Reykjavik. “I’ve heard from hundreds of people I haven’t seen or talked to in 30 years. Although I felt bad for Manny. I told him I didn’t have any hard feelings for him. He’s a nice guy. “
The Rockets are completing a new album for Cleopatra Records, with Blondie’s Clem Burke on drums, which should be due out early next year. Because they are planning a tour and will play in New York, Smootie decides to keep the bass in the metro area, rather than take it back and forth to Iceland.
“Whenever we played here, Smootie always had to scramble to find a bass to use,” said Mr. Ryan, who lives in Hoboken, NJ. “There is no point in sending it to Iceland. “
While he is in town, Smootie plans to go to the pawn shop and shake hands with Mr. Vidal, whom he has called regularly for the past several weeks when the drama unfolds. On Monday, Smootie told Mr Vidal not to hand the bass over to anyone other than Mr Ryan. “A lot of people are calling him and saying he’ll come and pick it up for me,” Smootty said. “But I don’t trust anyone. Next thing you know, someone will ask for $5,000 or you’re not going to get it back. We’re talking Jersey City here.”
Smootie has every reason to be suspicious. On Tuesday, he said, someone hacked his Facebook account and encouraged a well-meaning former roadie for the band to set up a Go Fund Me page to raise $3,000 to send bass to Iceland.
After the Rockets’ gear is stolen, Mr. Vidal, who was then 19 years old and not yet working in the pawnshop industry, lives with Bass in a garage in Hoboken, in its unusual pink and blue colors. Met a person with Trim. . Mr. Vidal, a bassist, said that he traded his Fender Precision Electric for it, unaware that it had been stolen. He kept it for about 40 years, but never tried to sell it.
Mr. Ryan, whose Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar was stolen in 1982 along with the rest of the Rockettes gear, plans to ask Mr. Vidal to keep an eye on his instrument. “If you see my Gretsch, give me a shout,” he said, “and we’ll start this story all over again.”