Thieves stole $70,000 of gear from producer/engineer Tucker Martine; now friends are stepping in to help with a benefit show in June.
Producer/engineer Tucker Martine was in the process of building the latest incarnation of his long-running Flora Recording Studio when the facility was hit by burglars last month. The thieves took an estimated $70,000 worth of prized microphones, guitars and amplifiers. A mainstay of the Northwest recording scene for decades, Martine has worked with numerous top acts, and now one of them, The Decemberists, is returning the favor with a benefit show scheduled for June 3 at Portland’s Crystal Palace.
The band’s Colin Meloy announced the benefit in a Facebook post, recounting the group’s long-standing relationship with Martine: “As you likely know, The Decemberists’ relationship with Tucker and Flora goes way back; he co-produced The Crane Wife with Chris Walla in 2006. We went on to make three more records with Tucker, using whichever iteration of Flora was assembled at the time: Flora was Tucker’s home basement; it was a barn in Happy Valley, OR, where he’d moved most of his outboard gear for one recording session; it was, later, a well-appointed studio in North Portland. We did one-off recordings, demos, and EPs at Flora with Tucker. I recorded two audiobooks, the second and third Wildwood books, at Flora. Most of my vocal takes that are currently out there in the world on songs and records were recorded on the microphones that were stolen from Flora a month ago.”
Meloy also notes in the post that the studio—the fifth location for Flora over the years—was still being built-out when it was hit by thieves in March. “You can imagine what kind of hit that would be, both financially and emotionally,” he writes. “Tucker and his family are heartbroken, trying to move on and finish the studio, all the while dealing with an insurance company that has been difficult in the aftermath of the robbery.”
All proceeds from the show will go to Flora; also on the bill are Blind Pilot and “more as-yet unannounced guests.” Those who would like to contribute to Martine and Flora in a different way can use a GoFundMe page that’s been set up for them.