A warehouse fire on the 1400 block of Darien Street destroyed a practice space for Philly bands, but from the ashes might rise a new six-home development. The warehouse caught fire on Feb. 22. Arson is the suspected cause of the disaster, but, luckily, no one was hurt.
Subsequently, the empty-handed, displaced bands have turned their efforts toward replacing lost weapons of rock. The bands recovering include The Howling Fantods, JJL, and The Improbables.
According to the Howling Fantods Facebook page, all of their equipment was lost, including a white board containing their song bank. In an effort to make a positive from a negative, the band has created an Indiegogo fundraiser to replace their drummer’s kit. Donations can be made here.
The JJL had used this practice space for 12 years and posted on their band site that they too lost everything, including a ’75 Les Paul Custom. They held a fundraiser at Fountain Porter on March 31 with support from The Philadelphia Brewing Company and had an Indiegogo fundraiser that just ended on April 17. JJL will be performing an upcoming benefit show with more details to be released on their website here.
The Improbables suffered the least damage of the three. On their Facebook page, they posted that their drum kit and other pieces were lost, however, several amps were salvaged.
Earlier this month the Passyunk Square Civic Association’s zoning committee met regarding a project that had already been proposed for the site of the warehouse, long before the fire. The request was to adjust the lot lines to to accommodate six plots instead of four to make way for six homes. Each house would be three stories with a basement, attached garage and roof decks with pilot houses, according to the civic’s website, which noted that committee voted 6-2 in favor of the project.
Let’s hope the new homeowners appreciate the ghosts of rock that will linger.
– Will Preddy