by Adam Gold
Water is no friend to musical instruments. While watching a torrent of heartbreak rip through our city this weekend, as a musician I couldn’t help but constantly wonder how much priceless gear of all kinds was in the process of being destroyed with each passing current and rising inch. While the loss of an original ’59 Les Paul, a Tweed Fender Bassman or the mixing console After the Gold Rush was recorded on is no tragedy in comparison to the loss of human life, we’re talking about the tools with which many peeps in these parts make a living.
As you all well know, Nashville is rife with home studios and basement rehearsal spaces. Couple that with the professional spaces affected, and inevitably the cumulative value of the losses is incalculable, and sentimental losses are even greater.
To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, take a look at the pictures posted on Soundcheck Nashville’s Official Flood Blog. Located in East Nashville — right on the banks of Cumberland — Soundcheck is a sprawling complex housing many rehearsal spaces and TONS of storage facilities for a host of musicians, ranging from session men to outright superstars.
Needless to say, given their location, Soundcheck was hit hard by this weekend's flood. At press time, the facility is using an answering service and could not be reached for comment, but the images posted below speak tragic volumes — as the facility appears utterly submerged. When I look at these photos, it really does pain me to think about the instrumental wreckage floating around inside those buildings. In an update on their official site, Soundcheck had the following to say to their customers:
Soundcheck Nashville has been affected by the massive 100 year flood that has hit Nashville. At this time there is no access to Cowan St. or the Soundcheck Complex. Police are not going to allow access till the Cumberland is below the flood stage of 40'. We hope to be able to get to the building by Thursday, but no one should attempt to come down until they get word here that the building is open. We will be updating the blog 3 times a day with as much info as we have. Please keep the Soundcheck family in your prayers, and a big thank you to everyone who has called and offered your help.
The latest post on their flood blog informs distressed Nashville pickers that Ed Beaver, of Ed Beaver Guitars — whose offices are located within Soundcheck — has set up an instrument “MASH unit,” offering up his services to try and salvage damaged guitars. For more info, visit edbeaver.com.
Now, while we’re on subject, what gear — if any — did you readers out there lose?