It’s been a roller coaster of a week for singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur. Following news that he’ll be partnering up with Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament this fall for RNDM comes further developments regarding his ongoing legal tussle with New York City. The conflict stems from several unpaid parking tickets and a communication breakdown between city marshall Robert F. Solimine and Arthur’s manager, resulting in both the towing and auction of his van.
What’s worse, as The New York Times reports, said van carried “several vintage amplifiers he uses, a number of paintings he had done onstage, a hand-drawn set of tarot cards he was working on and merchandise.” The singer had been touring Mexico when the auction took place and naturally he returned home baffled to see the van missing. “My manager was Canadian and didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation,” Mr. Arthur told the publication.
Now, civil rights attorney Ronald L. Kuby — yes, The Dude’s preferred representation — has agreed to assist Arthur in his situation. However, as of now, all he can do is wait. “We found the guy who has the van but he only speaks Spanish. Now we are looking for an ace Spanish speaking interpreter,” Joseph tweeted yesterday. A few hours later, he offered an update: “Communicated with the guy. He wants to think for 48 hours.”
In the meantime, Arthur has turned to his guitar and written an ode alongside Kraig Jarret Johnson about his humbling situation. Aptly titled “Where Is My Van”, the alternative acoustic strummer was recorded on a dictaphone and it sounds like it. On Monday night, he performed the track alongside Johnson and Peter Buck at New York’s City Winery. Stream it below and let this instill fear in any future parking tickets you may incur.