On Monday night, July 20, at around 9:30pm Musicians Outlet caught on fire. The store was located on San Pablo in Palm Desert and had been there for 24 years. Prior to that, owner Randy Hewitson had a smaller store a few doors down for 5 years. It was devastating to watch almost 30 years of blood, sweat and tears go up in flames in just a few minutes.
Hewitson’s wife Cindy stated that they lost over 90% of their inventory. They were in the process of moving the store back to the smaller original store 5 doors down when the fire happened. “We only had moved a few items,” shared Randy. “We pretty much lost everything. Some items are irreplaceable like a signed guitar that Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top had given me. And my good friend Johnny Andreasen, who passed away a few years ago, had given his daughter a special guitar that had sentimental meaning and I was keeping it safe for her.”
The new store was set to open this week on Monday, July 27. With only a dozen or so guitars and a couple horns, the Hewitson’s opened for business in the new location. “We are accepting consignments, repairs and special orders until we can get some inventory dialed in,” shared Cindy. “We’ve had some loyal customers that have already brought in consignments.”
While the store’s merchandise was insured, we all know how long it can take for a claim to be paid or even an advance to come through. During this time the Hewitson’s still have to pay to keep open a store with bare bones inventory and pay employees, while not having the ability to make money to cover the business’ expenses much less pay their own bills.
With that said, CV Weekly has partnered with Schmidy’s Tavern to have a benefit to raise money for Musician’s Outlet. It will take place on Saturday, August 29 from noon until closing that night. Many bands have already rallied around offering to perform and help support Randy as he has done for this music community for all these years.
There will be a $10.00 charge at the door however you can give more if you wish, with all money going directly to Musicians Outlet. All bands are donating their time as are all promoters, media, sound and stage people. When you pay your$10 at the door you will receive a paper brick that you can sign your name on and they will all be hung on the wall at the new Musicians Outlet. It’s like the community helping to rebuild this business one brick at a time.
There will also be a raffle to raise additional funds. Anyone interested in donating prizes, helping with the benefit, performing at the benefit, please contact me at 760-501-6228. It takes a village and we need as many people working together to help Musicians Outlet get back on their feet. I went with Randy and opened a special bank account where people can also donate money directly. Bank info: California Bank & Trust at 73-301 Highway 111, Palm Desert, CA 92260. Musicians Outlet Fire Fund -Account# 5790626674.
Bands to be announced in next week’s issue.