Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Who'll Stop The Rain

As you might have heard, Nashville, Tennessee suffered historic flooding last week and the city’s largest gear storage and rehearsal hall, “Soundcheck” was filled with 42 inches of toxic river water. Many guitars, amps, keyboards and drums were ruined by the exposure to the water, with only a few items that were on shelves or stacked high enough surviving.

After the water receded, many musicians moved their gear to an emergency storage facility far from the Cumberland to assess the damage and begin the drying out process. 20 volunteer luthiers and repairmen showed up to strip the at-risk guitars into necks, bodies and hardware (if possible) and clean them up with a 70/30 solution of distilled water and alcohol.

Electronics were dried out and sprayed with Blue Shower or De-Oxit contact cleaner in hopes that they might one day be put back in service. Many guitars, amps and keyboards were beyond rescue, and with flood insurance being low on most players’ priority lists, will be total losses.

My advice to anyone living near a body of water and to those storing the tools they use to make living near a body of water: buy flood insurance. Keep your really good stuff at home. If you can’t do that, put your really good stuff on a high shelf. Keep your really good electronic stuff in a Pelican water-proof case. I have a friend who had many microphones survive because they were in a sealed Pelican case.

An interesting side-note... While the cardboard boxes were soaked and ruined, the sealed packages of D'Addario strings were just fine once they got a soapy-water bath.

Photos courtesy Nashville Tennessean

If you'd like to help, here are some charities concerned with the flooding in Nashville:

Second Harvest Food Bank

Hands On Nashville

Salvation Army

Nashville Red Cross

Low Notes For Nashville


  1. One of the most devastating stories. We know one bassist who lost his entire "retirement" - a collection of vintage uprights and electrics, which he planned to sell to finance his later years. Now, instead of retiring in a few years, he has to start over.

    And that's just ONE story out of the thousand or more from Sound Check alone.

    Lane on Bass