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Nashville Flood Recovery Efforts

Guitar Center, Gibson and Rock on the Range reach out to Nashville.

Nashville, TN (May 14, 2010) -- As Nashville begins the process of drying out, cleaning up and rebuilding, a number of organizations, individuals and companies have stepped forward to provide support. Here are three of the relief efforts going on in the guitar industry that we are aware of. We will update this post with additional news as we get it. For a feel of the scope of the instrument damage, check out The Tennessean's heartbreaking "Guitars Damaged at Soundcheck" gallery.

Guitar Center's Operation High Ground
In direct response to the devastation from the recent floods in Nashville, Tennessee, Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument and professional audio retailer, has launched a dedicated initiative titled “Operation High Ground” for Nashville Flood Relief, to help musicians, songwriters, recording studios and audio professionals re-build their lives. The goal of the program is to help Nashville’s music community get back on its feet as quickly as possible to keep the music going in Music City. Guitar Center’s President, Greg Trojan, made the announcement.

As the events of May 1st unfolded, Guitar Center management was kept apprised of the Nashville storm situation as the unprecedented floods destroyed several communities. Immediately, the company began to formulate a strategy to take advantage of its extensive resources, both locally and nationally, and put into place a comprehensive, multi-tiered plan that addresses the various musical instrument and professional audio needs of the flood victims.

Guitar Center staff helped catalog hundreds of musical instruments and pieces of Pro Audio equipment damaged from the flood. Here sits a row of guitar amplifiers waiting to be assessed for damages.

Key elements of "Operation High Ground" include the following:

• Dedicated team specialists from both Guitar Center and GC Pro are on the ground in Nashville to interface with and advise flood victims on the best way to either repair or replace their musical instruments and recording gear as quickly as possible.

• Guitar Center has mobilized its distribution network to capitalize on the nearby Indianapolis warehouse, to ensure that if a replacement instrument, recording product or piece of audio equipment is not in stock in Nashville, it will be expedited to arrive as quickly as possible.

• A special toll-free Tennessee direct hotline (877-687-5405) to the High Ground Emergency Team has been established for customers who have experienced catastrophic loss. Callers can use this number to get rush access to musical gear purchases, along with personalized priority shipment and delivery logistics.

• Guitar Center is partnering with MusiCares to assist the Nashville area music community by providing emergency financial assistance to help those affected get through this crisis. Donations can be made at any of Guitar Center’s 214 stores, or online at

• TimePayment Corporation, an equipment leasing provider, is working with Guitar Center and GC Pro to develop a lease offering that will help the victims of the floods replace their equipment.

• Guitar Center has partnered with local Nashville FM radio station 104.5, The Zone, to help musicians rebuild their devastated communities. Beginning in May, for a six-week period, 104.5 will be holding live broadcasts from storm-damaged areas. Guitar Center representatives will be on-site to evaluate damaged gear and provide advice and assistance.

• Guitar Center has also partnered with local Nashville FM radio station 103 WKDF and the historic 3rd and Lindsley music venue to host a charity country music show titled “Putting The Music Back in Music City.” The show will be broadcast nationwide, and listeners will be solicited for donations to aid flood victims. Guitar Center will donate guitars that will be signed by the various performing artists and give one lucky listener in each market a signed guitar for donating to this event.

“Nashville has the greatest concentration of musicians, recording studios and audio professionals anywhere in the world,” stated GC Pro Director Rick Plushner. “The entire community has banded together to rebuild Music City, and Guitar Center and GC Pro are proud to be a resource for those players and studios that have suffered a loss. We look forward to helping everyone get back on their feet and keeping the music alive in Nashville.”

Gibson Foundation's Night Out for Nashville, Public Service Announcements
Gibson Guitar and its philanthropic division the Gibson Foundation, have announced a series of programs to help aid the victims of the recent Nashville floods which devastated the city and surrounding areas. Thousands of people have been left homeless and without the basic necessities of everyday life. Gibson Foundation based in Nashville will spearhead an initiative with landmark venues and businesses throughout the city including the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau Visitor’s Center, Gibson Café, and Diana’s Sweet Shoppe where Gibson Guitar banks created from actual Gibson guitar cases will be placed for visiting patrons to make a donation. The guitar case banks will be placed in area establishments in Nashville through June 18, 2010, when the initiative will culminate in a final push to raise funds through a sponsored event titled “Night Out for Nashville” – An Evening for Music City Flood Relief. Participating clubs and venues around the city will host simultaneous music events with all donations made to the guitar case banks going directly to the Gibson Foundation Flood Relief Programs.The Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau is supporting the effort and will be helping to spread the word on where donations are being accepted, along with having a guitar case bank set up at their downtown Visitor Center. 100% of all proceeds will benefit the flood victims in Nashville and surrounding affected areas.

Sister city, Austin, Texas and home of Gibson Guitar Austin, has also pledged its support with special events being planned with a host of celebrity musicians. Gibson Guitar case banks will be set up in area establishments throughout Austin during the popular Memorial Day weekend, again with 100% of the donations collected going for flood relief. For many years Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee have competed for the title of “world’s greatest music city.” But now, the two cities have come together in an effort to spearhead events across their markets in an effort to garner proceeds to support the flood relief programs being supported by the Gibson Foundation. Landmark venues across Austin, including Antone’s Home of the Blues in downtown Austin and Maggie Mae’s on 6th Street are participating. At select locations, each donation of $20 or more will automatically enter the patron into a sweepstakes to win an exclusive Gibson or Epiphone guitar. The Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau has volunteered to help spread the word through social media and several local marketing company resources. For more information on Gibson Austin’s support of the Nashville Flood Relief programs, go to, For more information on “Night Out for Nashville” go to Details and updates will be posted regularly each week.

Gibson Foundation has also launched a series of Public Service Announcements by such popular Gibson and Epiphone artists such as Slash, Zakk Wylde, Peter Frampton, Luke Bryan, Keb Mo, Heart, Sammy Hagar, Corey Taylor, JT Hodges, Honor Society, Rev Theory, Gloriana, Paulie Z, Billy Morrison, Ray Benson, Austin City Limit’s Terry Lickona, Jonathan Singleton and others. All PSAs have been donated by the artist and are currently available for viewing at the site. Gibson Foundation will also place the series in a viral campaign via YouTube in an effort to bring attention to the current need for donations for Flood Relief. The Jonas Brothers, a signature Gibson band known for their sold-out tours and #1 hits, have also been tweeting asking their Twitter followers to support Gibson Foundation’s request for donations.

Rock on the Range Donating Portion of Ticket Proceeds
With its Nashville neighbors experiencing unprecedented flooding and damage, Columbus, Ohio’s annual Rock on the Range festival--May 22 and 23 at Columbus Crew Stadium--will make a $.50 cent donation per ticket sold to the Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund. The Fund, consisting of a partnership between the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the Office of the Mayor of Nashville, and Davidson County’s Office of Emergency Management, will support relief efforts necessitated by flooding, which has impacted so many lives.

“From all of us involved with Rock On The Range, our hearts go out to the victims of the horrible flooding in Nashville. We cannot stand idly by and watch, so we are acting. The rock fans of middle-America are here to support the rescue and rebuilding efforts and we’re pleased to be making this donation on behalf of everyone attending the festival in the coming days,” commented Joe Litvag, co-executive producer of the festival for AEG Live.

Grants from the fund will be made to nonprofits supporting relief, restoration and clean-up efforts in the Davidson County area in the aftermath of the flooding and storms. Donations are being accepted through The Community Foundation’s website at or by mail at P.O. Box 440225, Nashville, TN, 37244.

Gary Spivack, co-executive producer of the event for Right Arm Entertainment, says, “Rock On The Range is all about the music. It's also the people's festival. The people of the great Music City need support. ROTR is happy to lend a hand to our brothers and sisters of Nashville.”