Minnesota-launched rock star arrested with 13 stolen guitars

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Cameron Heacock of American Head Charge Costa Mesa Police Department

Cameron Heacock, frontman of Minneapolis hard-rock band American Head Charge, was arrested last Wednesday in Costa Mesa, California.

Cops busted Heacock, 40, in a stolen van that housed 13 stolen guitars, nine of which were lifted from a nearby Guitar Center, according to officals. Investigators were led to a storage unit loaded with more allegedly stolen items, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Among the other items discovered inside the van and storage unit: two motorcycles, a scooter, a leaf blower, and a boat engine, as shown in this sorta cheeky Facebook post by Costa Mesa PD.

Heacock remains in custody, according to Orange County jail records. 

This is the latest in a series of dark headlines concerning American Head Charge. In 2005, AHC guitarist Bryan Ottoson died of a drug overdose. He was 27. Last fall, bassist/co-founder Chad Hanks died after battling a terminal illness. He was 46.

Early on, American Head Charge enjoyed a charmed career. Formed in Minneapolis in 1996, the band rocketed to notoriety as part of the late-'90s nu-metal explosion. The success of their 1999 indie debut, Trepanation, caught the ear of super-producer Rick Rubin, who signed the group to his American Recordings label. AHC spent their heyday touring the globe alongside superstar radio-rockers Ozzy Osbourne, Slipknot, and Metallica.

As American Head Charge were eager to point out in the liner notes to Trepanation, they achieved rock-star status without much love from local rock writers: 

"No Thanks To: Any Minneapolis local music publications (you know who you are...) that have ignored and/or continue to ignore the hardcore/industrial/rapcore local scene," AHC accurately wrote, adding, "Take your Replacements memories and shove them up your collective asses."

(In related news, check out our recent profile of Replacements roadie Bill Sullivan, a guy with wild 'Mats memories for days!) 

But back to American Head Charge. The band broke up in 2009, but reformed in 2011. AHC's fourth and latest full-length, Tango Umbrella, dropped in 2016. The group played a memorial show for Hanks last November at First Avenue. 


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