Hootie and the Blowfish are Forced To Unplug

Now if someone could just hijack the rest of their equipment...

Hootie and the Blowfish returned to their adopted hometown

of Columbia, SC where they went to college not that long ago, to tape an MTV

"Unplugged" concert. The visit was not a complete success since a thief stole

two of the band's guitars from the April 19 concert at the band's alma mater,

the University of South Carolina. Thieves are getting more and more

inventive--if not smarter. Anthony Magnarini, a student at the university, was

arrested and charged with grand theft after he dressed up like a member of the

cleanup crew in order to get backstage and nab the guitars, according to

testimony at a bond hearing held Friday (April 27). His accomplice, another

student, Nicholas Branchak, was charged with receiving stolen goods--and both

were released on $5,000 bail. The duo was caught when a third student took one

of the guitars to a music store in the area to replace a missing string. The

proprietor of the shop questioned him about the initials "DR" on the

instrument. Preening, he said the guitar was a gift from Blowfish lead singer

Darius Rucker. The poor slob was caught in mid-preen, when customers who

overheard the exchange blew the whistle. Police were called in, and the small

ring of thieves were arrested.