Dale Watson’s coin-covered guitar stolen outside Houston restaurant

Austin-based musician Dale Watson is missing a sentimental guitar that has been with him for almost three decades.

The artist posted on social media that his van was stolen from the parking lot while eating at Christie’s Seafood Restaurant in Houston on Saturday, July 16.

The van was recovered, but Watson said just the contents from inside the van could be worth up to $14,000. Items included his suitcase with stage clothes, cash, and musical equipment.

Most importantly, Watson just wants his guitar back. 

"It’s been with me going on 30 years, it’s like a part of me, and it’s really strange to play a show without it," said Watson, who played a show at the Continental Club on Friday night. "It’s been with me up and down Congress."

The body of the guitar is covered in coins that Watson himself put on there. He was traveling around Europe and the euro was about to be adopted.

"I had all these coins from all over the world, and they were going to be useless - the German Deutsche Mark, the French franc, the Italian lira - all these different coins and I just couldn’t throw them away," said Watson. "To me, it’s sentimental and reminds me of where I’ve been."

Watson shared a fun story with FOX 7 from when he was later in Switzerland where the franc is still common currency.

He said he needed to make a call from a train station payphone.

"So I peeled a franc off the guitar and was able to make a phone call," he said.

Watson called the theft a "first world problem" and said he will still continue to play shows using his other guitars, but he would love to get his guitar back because of its history. 

"It’s more valuable to my heart than it is anything," he said.

Watson asked that people keep their eye out on sites like Ebay and Reverb. He said the guitar was posted briefly on Reverb, an Ebay-like site for musical instruments, but was taken down.

If you have any information, contact Houston PD or Watson via his social media.