When an LIC music venue’s set was cut short by Sandy, it didn’t expect the sound to be turned back on by a group of rock legends.
Music icons The Who gifted the besieged LIC Bar with a brand new sound system after the Vernon Boulevard favorite was inundated by seven feet of water, wiping out its entire cache of electronic equipment.
LIC Bar, known for hosting mainly local live acts four nights a week, has previously held impromptu gigs for bigger acts like Violent Femmes and The Fleshtones and holds a major place in the music landscape of New York City.
The internationally known band heard about the venue’s plight when LIC Bar patron Robert Basch alerted members of The Who’s record label about the damage endured by the establishment during Sandy when they stopped in Brooklyn during their “Quadrophenia” tour in November.
“[Basch] had this crazy idea of ‘I’m going to approach The Who,’” said LIC Bar talent booker Gustavo Rodriguez of the gutsy guest. “He told me he was going to do it and I thought he was kidding around.”
According to Rodriguez, Basch’s original intention was to see if the group could do a surprise performance at LIC Bar. With a tight schedule of performances, the band did the next best thing, hooking the venue up with gear from Shure Microphones and Peavey Electronics, the same state-of-the-art equipment The Who uses at their shows.
“It’s definitely much appreciated,” said LIC Bar owner Brian Porter. “Who knows what could come from it. It’s a true blessing.”
Porter said it looked unlikely that the bar’s insurance would cover the nearly $75,000 in damages from the storm. The bar spent the first three weeks after Sandy cleaning up and finally reopened in late November.
“We’re up and running, thank God,” said Rodriguez. “Everything seems to be normal again. People were glad to see us open. We definitely have a following.”
Rodriguez, who is a longtime fan of The Who, said he expects the gear to arrive at LIC Bar sometime this week.
“This gesture from The Who is a godsend,” said Rodriguez.