Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Thief steals Louis Armstrong's horn

Thief steals Louis Armstrong’s horn

Sept. 13, 1972: Something missing – wax figure of Louis Armstrong stands without his familiar trademark trumpet at Hollywood Wax Museum.

This Fitzgerald Whitney image appeared in the Sept. 14, 1972, Los Angeles Times. An accompanying story reported:

Louis Armstrong looked as if someone had punched him in the mouth.

The reason was that someone had stolen the trumpet right from the lips of the wax replica of the late horn-blower.

The great ripoff occurred sometime Tuesday night at the Hollywood Wax Museum, 6767 Hollywood Blvd.

And it took a little doing. Someone apparently used clippers to remove the instrument, which was wired to both hands of the statue.

In the process the thumb of the musician’s left hand and two fingers of his right hand were broken off.

A guard was on duty, but not in the right place at the right time.

“We have a lot of trouble with thefts here,” lamented Steve Gooding, day manager at the museum. “A couple of years ago three guitars were stolen from the Beatles’ display. And people are always taking neckties and snapping off fingers.”

“But the trumpet was worth something,” he went on. “I can’t put a price on it yet, but we got it six years ago and it was a real trumpet of a special type which Louis Armstrong used.”

It was the museum’s turn to wail the blues.

For more check out this Louis Armstrong article on the Los Angeles Times Hollywood Star Walk.

No comments yet

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.


Required, will not be published

Browse All Photos »