While aftershocks from Monday’s earthquake continued throughout Tuesday, staffers at the town’s record labels received another jolt as they discovered their offices were as hard hit as some of their homes.
Execs at Warner Bros. Records arrived Tuesday to find they were locked out of their Burbank headquarters as engineers evaluated the condition of the building.
And the label’s north building, the multistory structure across the street from its HQ, was “devastated,” according to staffers, with broken glass and some collapsed interior walls.
Many Warner Bros. execs spent the day working out of their homes — at least those who weren’t already on their way to New York to attend the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Awards tonight at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
“They’re trying to assess the damage and determine if the building is safe for us to work in,” Michael Ostin, Warner Bros. Records VP, said from his home.
Hall of Famer’s home hit
Rod Stewart was among the many artists affected by the quake. His Los Angeles home suffered minor damage. Stewart was scheduled to be inducted into the Hall but released a statement late Tuesday saying he was staying with his family in Los Angeles.
MCA Records kept its North Hollywood offices closed Tuesday as structural engineers inspected the offices. The label had planned a press conference in New York to announce its rhythm, country and blues project, the pairing of country artists with R&B acts on hit singles, but canceled it after learning of some of the artists’ difficulty in getting to the city.
Arista Records postponed a scheduled media tour in L.A. for singer Sarah McClachan to promote her new disc, “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.”
“Everything’s everywhere,” said Mark Young, Arista’s senior director of West Coast publicity, who was among the handful of staffers cleaning up the mess at the label’s offices. “It looks like somebody took the building, turned it upside down and put it back down.”
The telephone lines at Sony Music gave callers a busy signal all day, and calls placed to the nearby offices of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences got through on a hit-or-miss basis.
Music retailers near the quake’s Northridge epicenter suffered extensive damage and remained closed Tuesday.
The Northridge store of retail chain Wherehouse lost its entire storefront, which collapsed into its front parking lot. The store sits just across the street from the Northridge Mall, where a Bullocks store was totaled.
A nearby Tower Records store also suffered significant structural damage and is expected to be closed indefinitely.
Tempo Records, the retailing arm of Pacific Coast One Stop, was unable to deliver product to its accounts due to damage to its Chatsworth warehouse.
But for a handful of firms, it was business as usual.
Staffers at Levine-Schneider PR were hard at work by midday, as many of them came in early to help sort out the mess.
“We don’t have any elevators yet,” said Michael Levine. “But the office made it through fairly well.”