My friend Laura passed on to me this email from Gabe "Bosco" Roth, head of soul music indie record label Daptone Records, about the burglary of their studios a week ago. Sounds like they are still hurting, but basically back in business:
What's remarkable is that Gabe says that with the economy what it is that they "don't feel it would be right to accept any monetary donations or benefit money." Still, it wouldn't hurt to buy a record, CD or tee-shirt from their website.
In related news, I've found out about a website collecting donations for Daptone called "SaveDaptone.com". So if you really would like to make a contribution, you might want to head toward that website.
The complete email from Gabe after the jump...
Dear friends and associates,
We, the Daptone Family, have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the community in response to the burglary of our studio. On the night of February 15th, somebody peeled back the iron gate on our front door, broke in, and stole a lot of equipment and instruments from our studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The next day I sent a brief email out to about ten friends asking them to keep a eye out for the stolen gear and for any good deals on loaner equipment to get us by for a while. Within a day, my email had been forwarded to people around the world and had been published on the websites of Brooklyn Vegan, Okay Player, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and the NY Times, as well as numerous blogs and recording gear websites. The response has been unbelievable. We have had hundreds of emails back from people offering to donate and loan gear, studio owners offering free studio time, promoters and organizations offering to help set up benefits and donation programs, and individuals offering financial and moral support. We cannot express how much it has meant to us to see how quickly and to what extent the community has offered us support. It is truly inspirational to know how many people out there feel it is important for us to keep doing what we do.
Luckily, the extent of the burglary was not debilitating. Between what was stolen and what needs repair we estimate we are probably out fifteen to twenty thousand dollars. However, our mixing console, tape machines, the majority of our outboard gear, some microphones, instruments and amps all remain. So even after the burglary, we are still operational and have much more equipment than many other independent operations. When I started making records, I had very little recording equipment - just a four track reel to reel and some Radio Shack mics. I have always stood by the premise that it is the musicians that make a record great, and though I've chosen to record everything analog and have been able to improve the quality of our equipment significantly over the years, I've tried not to get too caught up in the fetishism of recording gear. When I met the legendary engineer/producer Willie Mitchell a few years ago at his Royal Studios in Memphis, I asked him how he made all those Al Green records sound so good. He responded, "The only equipment you need is this and this," and pointed to his ears and his heart.
We are taking a handful of friends up on their offers to loan us some mics, pre-amps, headphones, and a couple of other things to keep us rolling. However, with the economy how it is and the number of musicians and independent businesses out there struggling, we don't feel it would be right to accept any monetary donations or benefit money. Our studio is functional and in the context of today's music industry, our business is relatively healthy. Though this is a major setback, it will not stop us and we fortunately will be able to survive this without having to accept charity that may be better spent on those more needy. Regardless, we thank everyone out there who has offered us support, and hope to encourage that spirit of generosity and charity towards others that are caught in bad situations. If you'd really like to help support our cause, please continue to buy independent records from independent retailers, and continue to turn on your friends and family to Daptone's music and that of like-minded independent labels.
We also realize that it was our own fault that we were caught uninsured. We have fixed the front gate and installed an additional roll-down gate, installed a good alarm system, and finally gotten insurance for the studio. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, but we hope that our misfortune will be a wake-up call to anyone else out there who was dragging their feet about getting insurance. It's relatively cheap and completely necessary.
I'm sure as time goes by we will notice more and more things missing, but below is a slightly more complete list of what we know was stolen. We appreciate everybody continuing to keep a eye out for any of it in pawn shops and music stores, as well as on ebay and craigslist.
Mostly, we'd like to reiterate our gratitude to everybody for your overwhelming generosity. Getting a response like this was sincerely inspirational and will do much more to help us make records than any equipment ever could. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and gear or no gear, we encourage everybody out there to...
Keep putting Soul up,
Gabriel Roth, and the entire Daptone Family
What they got:
# Make Model Description
1 Purple Audio API style lunchbox
4 Purble Audio Biz Mic Pres
1 Summit Hills Power Supply
1 Black & Decker Battery Powered Drill
1 Custom Bass Flight Case
1 Fender Super Guitar Amp
1 Fender Pro-Junior Guitar Amp
1 Flight Case for Super
4 Shure 556 Microphones
1 Electrovoice RE20 Microphone
2 Rode NT1 Condensor Microphones
1 Studio Projects C3 Tube Condensor Mic
1 Tubeworks Tube Condensor Mic
1 Behringer Condensor Mic
3 Shure SM 57 Mics
2 Octava Ribbon Mics
1 Electrovoice 654 Dynamic Mic
6 Misc Off Brand Vintage Dynamic Mics
8 Behringer D1000 Headphones
1 Misc Wires wires
2 Yamaha NS10 Studio Monitors
1 Technics 1200 Turntable
1 Teac Stereo Receiver/Amp
1 Sony Dual Deck CD Burner
1 Harmony Rocket Electric Guitar
1 Yamaha Steel String Acoustic
1 Martin Tenor Saxophone
1 Hewlett Packard Laptop Computer
1 Mac Desktop Computer
1 Modems/Telephone wires
1 Lacie External Harddrive
1 Stamps.com Mail Scale