Queensryche's Wilton Reunited With Long Lost Guitar

Almost five years to the day after losing his custom made guitar to a passing thief, Queensryche guitarist Michael Wilton has gotten it back.

A Redmond, WA guitar player named Bill Brumlow was in a Redmond recording studio with his own band, a progressive rock group called Dream Train, when the studio owner recognized the instrument, a customized ESP worth in the neighborhood of $2000, as Wilton's. Wilton was contacted, came to the studio, happily ID'd the guitar, and took it home.

"I paid $500 for it," Brumlow told MTV News, "and Michael (Wilton) asked me what I wanted for it, but it didn't feel right selling him his own guitar, so I just gave it to him." Brumlow had bought the guitar from a collector he met when the man came into his glass installation store two and a half years previously.

Wilton told Brumlow that he'd take him out for a couple of drinks in the next week or so. Coincidentally, Brumlow had attended the same high school as Wilton, and once installed

a new windshield in his Mercedes.

Meanwhile Queensryche appeared at a fan club concert staged this past Saturday night in Seattle, where they debuted material from a new album that has been recorded, but as yet does not have a firm release date. The band had fallen victim to the closing of their label, EMI, late in 1997 and apparently they have not been able to sign with another major.

They declined to comment on the situation in an online chat on the weekend. "The record label question is a very in-depth discussion that is perhaps better left undiscussed here," typed singer Geoff Tate. He added that they intend to tour in the Spring.

Sources tell MTV News that Queensryche has signed or is about to sign to an unnamed independent. Calls to the band's management to confirm that information were not returned.

Fans can hear three tracks from the group's pending album at the official Queensryche website, www.queensryche.com.

In other news, Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfield and partner Paul Speer have been nominated for a Grammy for their production of a long form video/DVD for "TeleV0id." The film is a Miramar visual project devoted to computer animation.