*~*~*~*UPDATE on February 18, 2008: The Independent has issued a correction, stating that Garrett's crushed violin wasn't actually a Stradivarius, instead a lesser-rare (but still pretty rare) violin. Go here for details.
He's been known to take the stage with his 298-year-old Stradivarius tucked under his tattooed arm in a sk8r boi beanie and ripped jeans, but the angry Gods of Fashion weren't having it anymore, and struck down the grungy performer on his a$$. It happened at the Barbican, where 26-year-old violinist David Garrett fell atop his precious instrument, crushing it to splinters. Very expensive splinters.
"I had just played a concert. I was all packed up and ready to go when I slipped and fell. People said it was as if I'd trodden on a banana skin."
"I fell down a flight of steps and onto the case. When I opened it the violin was in pieces. I was just sitting there on the floor, I couldn't speak and I couldn't get up. I didn't even know if I was hurt - I didn't care," he said.
The Independent is calling him "lad with the broken Strad", and is reporting that his badly-damaged instrument will be out of commission for at least eight months, and is facing a $120,000.00 USD repair estimate that will likely alter the subsequent sound of the violin forever.
His upcoming 2008 tour is packed with a Valentine's Day Barbican concert, followed by concerts through the USA, hitting Germany in March and May. Luckily, a 1718 Stradivarius (on loan from Milan) has already been flown-in as a replacement, and the replacement is all like, "d00d: Wear your friiking glasses."
I’m sorry, but it's 2008. Can't they grow a new Stradivarius on a rat's back and swap it out or something?
btw, this is a good opportunity to update this post from last year:
We had written about a NY Philharmonic concert with Maestro Muti and Russian violinist Vadim Repin, where Repin lovingly caressed his 1708 Stradivari called "Ruby". We've since been informed from the kind Executive Director of Chicago's Stradivari Society that Ruby is now under the care of an up & coming violinist by the name of Chen Xi, while Repin has been loaned a gorgeous Cremonese Guarneri del Gesu.