Joseph Arthur’s Van Towed, Impounded, Sold

Popular musician and
visual artist may also permanently lose the vehicle’s contents which include
his art and amplifiers.


By Fred Mills


Joseph Arthur is in a bind of the worst Catch-22 sort: his
van, which he uses both for touring and to store his gear and artwork overflow
due to the size of his apartment in New York, had been taken in for repairs,
and while parked on the street at the repair shop was towed by the city over
what he describes as “misunderstood outstanding parking tickets.” Subsequently,
the van was impounded, and then sold – and now, according to Arthur, “all of
the contents belong to the new owner whom we are not allowed to know.”


Everyone has had their run-ins with towing agencies and/or
unsympathetic officials who turn a deaf ear to someone’s pleas that a parking
ticket was in error. Not everyone has had their property sold out from under
them, however.


Arthur outlines this story at the site, and
the reason he is sharing the story is because his attorney, Ron Kuby (of The Big Lebowski fame) suggested that as
he apparently has no actual legal rights in the matter, by spreading the news
via social media he may stand the best chance of retrieving his stuff.


Writes Arthur, “I’ve been told it is unlikely I’ll get the
van back. Lord knows there are more important things in the world than a
missing van with some art and amps in it. There has been a heartening outpour
of support, and it has deeply been appreciated.  A few lawyers are on the
case and will hopefully be able to shake the law in our favor, and at least
retrieve the contents of the van.”


As respected and celebrated as Arthur is, he definitely
ain’t rich. If you’re a musician, you already know what a hit someone takes if
they lose their primary means of touring transportation; and if you’ve ever had
your vehicle burglarized, you’ll surely be nodding your head in recognition.
Arthur points out how “there is a sense of loss and violation, but obviously
people endure much, much worse every single day.  I have no time for self
pity and very much hope that this doesn’t come off like that.”


It doesn’t Joe. Not at all. We will be keeping our fingers
crossed for ya.


 2003 van, Dodge Ram, white 

Contents: • 1970s Fender
Twin amp in a blue road case with JAYHAWKS stenciled in white
• Eden Traveler
bass head
• Ampeg 4 X 10
• Joseph’s
nearly-completed set of hand-drawn tarot cards
• CD recorded
for recording live shows, two mics
• CD burners —
two towers 
• Many large
paintings rolled up in canvas 

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