When Rice Enright plays solo for wedding or corporate gigs he plays guitar. But when he plays as a “hired hand” for reggae bands J.a.m. Kwest or Gentle Giants, or for tribute bands like Fake No More or Vaseline (STP), he plays bass. “Bass is my money maker,” says Enright who has also played in noteworthy original bands such as Ghoulspoon, Hi Def Dynamite, and Divided by Zero. “Guitar just fills in the cracks.”
When he plays “big shows,” he finds it’s best to bring along his own bass amp. “You can’t always count on the [house] soundman to make sure the bass gets in the mix.” His go-to amp to make sure his bass lines get heard is almost six-feet tall. “For some shows, you just need a refrigerator.”
Enright happily wheels in his mega amp when needed. But because his Point Loma apartment isn’t big enough for the music equipment he’s amassed over 20 years playing locally, he’s been renting a five-by-ten-foot storage space at Public Storage in Linda Vista since 2006.
He went to fetch the refrigerator amp June 7 to back pop-punkers Authentic Sellout. “We were opening for [New York punk band] Murphy’s Law,” Enright says. “We needed to bust out the big guns for that show. I went to storage to grab my gear. Nothing looked wrong. The lock on the door was intact.”
But when he opened the door, his power amps, mixing board, compressors, reverb units and microphones were missing. “They went through every single box. They only left my family stuff.”
Enright called the police and made a report.
“He was regular beat cop,” he says of the SDPD officer who helped him. “He took pictures. He also helped me discover that all you have to do is slide your fingers under the door and pull out the entire door assembly….It’s only sheet metal and drywall. As it turns out, if you want to break in to one of these, you don’t have to touch the lock at all.”
Enright says he and the SDPD officer removed the entire door assembly and then easily put it back in. Probably, he reasons, just as the thief did.
He says renter’s insurance covers him up to $2000 although he estimates he spent $8000 on the equipment over the years.
Enright thinks that his equipment is in a unit in the same building because there are no cameras monitoring inside hallways, only cameras that monitor outside each building. He thinks if thieves rolled his massive amp outdoors, it would have been captured on camera.
Enright says he is flustered because Public Storage would not answer any of his questions, such as what they are going to do about the smaller units with easy pull-out doors, and why he isn’t allowed to look at the security footage captured by outside cameras?
If the equipment made it outside, Enright admits, he has little hope of recovery. “This is generic audio equipment. It usually ends up across the border. It has no traceability.”
Enright, who also gives music lessons and plays in jazz combos at the Riviera Supper Club and at Panama 66 in Balboa Park, appears with Authentic Sellout on Thursday, July 19 at Winstons.