Rockers Sonic Youth are celebrating after recovering two guitars which were stolen from them in 1999.

The instruments were taken along with other equipment backstage at a concert in Orange County, California, and the group has always feared it would never see the guitars again.

But they've been returned to the band by two fans who are "connected to one of the people involved in the heist", according to guitarist LEE RANALDO.

He says, "They look like they've been through World War III. They've been repainted several times and the pickups were practically hanging by the wires.

"They were in really messed up shape, but we're happy to have them back, and they'll come back to life in the care of our crew guys."