LIC Bar Gets Helping Hand From The Who
By MEGAN MONTALVO
|Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry, members of The Who, donated more than $3,000 worth of performance equipment to LIC Bar.
After working to recover from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the LIC Bar has recently received word from a major rock band that despite the loss of their offices, The Kids Are Alright.
Last week, the management team at the trendy western Queens bar, located at 45-58 Vernon Blvd., revealed The Who will be donating more than $3,000 worth of performance equipment to aid the owners in replacing the items lost in the storm.
“It pretty much came out of nowhere,” said Gustavo Rodriguez, the bar’s music director and senior booker. “A friend of mine had reached out to the band and soon after that, we were notified by the band’s manager that they would be interested in donating audio equipment. It was amazing news.”
In the days immediately following Sandy, Rodriguez said he and his staff had to work to remove eight feet of floodwaters from the bar’s basement level.
“We kept everything in there,” he said. “Our office computers, our tap lines for the beer, our microphones, most of our electronics – everything was stored there.”
Upon discovering the basement had been flooded from floor to ceiling, Rodriguez said that it was an instant blow to the staff’s spirits and wallets.
“It was pretty apparent once we opened the door and saw the room completely overtaken with water,” he said. “Hundreds of thousands of dollars were instantly gone.”
Due to the extensive damage, the LIC Bar closed their doors to the public for three weeks.
During that time, the site that had once fostered a plethora of local bands from a multitude a genres was now facing the grueling reality of not knowing whether or not the venue would be able to bounce back from the damage.
“Spirits were definitely low,” Rodriguez said. “We tried to remain positive, but knowing how much it would take to restore everything was daunting. Fortunately, we always had the support of our patrons and the local community.”
As employees continued to work towards restoration, Rodriguez said the bar was able to reopen on Nov. 17 with a modest donation of one of his own drum kits and other temporary audio equipment on loan.
“It wasn’t much, but it helped us get back in the swing of things,” he said.
Just when things began moving in a positive direction, Rodriguez said that local resident Robert Basch had one more surprise in store.
“Rob told us he had put in a cold call to The Who - and I’m not sure what exactly prompted him to do this - but their management team responded and told us they would be happy to donate equipment,” Rodriguez said. “Both Robert and his wife Barbara have been long-time patrons of LIC bar, and we really couldn’t have asked for a better donation than this.”
While they wait for a shipment to arrive, Rodriguez said the top of the line equipment will be supplied by Peavey Electronics and Shure Microphones.
Though he noted that other items lost during the Sandy will undoubtedly be irreplaceable, such as the 9-year-old iconic Willow tree that lived in the bar’s patio, Rodriguez said that getting some help from The Who more than helps lift the staff’s morale.
“None of us could have imagined that such a huge band like The Who would not only respond to our patron’s request for help, but would actually respond and help in such an inspirational way,” he said. “We look forward to continuing to foster musicians of all backgrounds with the contributions they have made.”
Reach Reporter Megan Montalvo at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 128 or email@example.com.