It's been well documented that after Pink Floyd's performance at The Warehouse in New Orleans on May 16, 1970, the equipment shown on the rear cover of their album Ummagumma was stolen. The remaining concerts on that U.S. tour were canceled. Were the thieves ever caught, and did the gear ever turn up in underground New Orleans?
Pink Floyd played two nights at The Warehouse music venue. The group's manager, Steve O'Rourke, said band members were having such a good time they decided to stay in New Orleans for a while before moving on to Houston. But early on May 22, 1970, a rental truck containing $40,000 to $50,000 worth of the band's electronic equipment and musical instruments was stolen from outside the Royal Orleans (now the Omni Royal Orleans) in the French Quarter, where the group was staying.
O'Rourke reported that the equipment was loaded into a 30-foot-long U-Haul and parked in the 600 block of St. Louis Street about 2 a.m. in preparation for appearances in Houston, Dallas and Kansas City. Two hours later, an equipment manager discovered the truck was gone.
The list of stolen equipment included drum kits, microphones, cable, four electric guitars, two organs and a 360-degree sound system with 12 speaker cabinets and 4,000 watts of amplification. The one-of-a-kind sound system was built in London and was very expensive.
The band offered a reward of $2,000, and on May 27, The Times-Picayune reported that the rental truck was found abandoned on Castiglione Street. The news report said the truck and its contents were intact, but a couple of guitars turned up missing. No one was arrested for the crime.
When the group thought it had lost everything, it canceled the rest of its American tour. When the stolen truck was found with most of the equipment inside, Pink Floyd decided not to reinstate the canceled gigs and returned to England. The band didn't come back to the Crescent City for 24 years, when it performed a concert at the Superdome May 14, 1994.