Musician and painter Joseph Arthur has been reunited with his 2003 Dodge Ram touring van and all of its contents, including musical instruments and many paintings (full statement from Joseph is below). The van and possessions had been sold at auction by the City of New York on August 23rd while he was out of the country. It had been seized for unpaid parking tickets Joseph believed had been paid.
Read the full story on the recovery here
Famed civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby volunteered to represent Arthur and hired his longtime associate Vic Cornetta to locate the buyer. Cornetta, an ex-NYPD and current private investigator for In Sight Case Management, tracked down Bronx resident Jose Lopez, who paid $1000 at auction.
The PI and Josephâ€™s guitarist Kraig Jarret Johnson met in Joseâ€™s neighborhood for a classic shakedown: After hours of negotiations with no obligation for Jose to sell, a final deal of $5,500 had finally been reached – five times what the buyer had paid.
â€œIt’s good to know that even if I never reach sainthood at least my van has,â€ says Joseph, who has received incredible support from his audience, fellow musicians and the media.
A fundraiser will be thrown Sunday, October 21st @ City Winery in New York City, featuring Joseph and special guests.
So after all this I got my van back!
I can’t thank y’all enough for your support and help.
It cost plenty, but I’m very happy to have my art and my gear back.
Jose (the guy who had it) drove a hard bargain (Ron calls it a sort of hold up)
and sold it all back to me for $5,500 after he paid a grand for it,
but Iâ€™m trying to keep it in perspective,
Things like this can’t be measured strictly with numbers
and the life lessons it taught were of greater value than the dollars and cents.
The main one being the support I got from all of you.
Along with the people,whom without I never would have gotten it back,
Ron, Vic, Lea, Carla, Julie, Peter, Kraig, Ehud and Spencer – THANK YOU!
The list goes on, but now I need to search this four wheel goliath for my tarot cards and try to catch new dreams.
Thanks again everyone and I hope to see you down the road.
I’ll be the one driving a van more famous than me.