Between the Headphones of the Publisher


In mid-August, as G. Brown, the famed author, former music critic of the Denver Post and the director of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, prepared a new exhibit for the Hall of Fame, something went awry in a big way.

Sometime early on August 19, someone broke into the Turnpike Business Park and walked off with many of the key artifacts of the exhibit.

Among the items stolen were several items from the former Boulder band Flash Cadillac. The group, which was started in Boulder in 1969, appeared in the movie American Graffiti as the group Herbie and the Heartbeats and they added three songs to the soundtrack as well.

Gone is Sam McFadin’s signature Flash Cadillac guitar — a Fender Stratocaster with flames painted on the body and the band’s name on the neck in pearl inlay; guitarist Linn Phillips’ leather jacket with the name “SPIKE” across the back in studs, along with a leather shark mask and bassist Warren Knight’s gold record for the American Graffiti soundtrack.

Also missing is a blue plaid stage suit worn by Bob Demmon, a member of the Astronauts, who were formed in 1962 and had a hit with their surf classic “Baja.”

All of the items were going to be debuted at the Boulder Theater in early September when the Astronauts and Flash Cadillac, among others, are scheduled to be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

Brown has said that the items are “priceless.”

This crime pains me deeply. I didn’t know the Astronauts, and American Graffiti was even before my time (and I’m fucking old), so I never had any attachment to Flash Cadillac. But what those items signify is the real importance. Without these bands, the Denver/Boulder music scene that we know today may have never risen to the level at which it currently stands. Every musician and everyone in the music business in this region owes a debt of gratitude to these acts.

These bands playing in places like The Sink and Tulagi, are what helped put our region on the musical map, and losing any artifacts from that time is unacceptable. So, in some sense, yeah, it is just a guitar and things, but isn’t that like calling The Constitution just a piece of paper?

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame is offering a no-questions asked, return on this gear, and anyone who has information is encouraged to

e-mail Brown:

See you at the shows.


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