Looney Tunes, the long-standing independent record store in West Babylon, New York which has hosted in-store appearances by such artists as OZZY OSBOURNE, QUEENSRŸCHE, DREAM THEATER, TYPE O NEGATIVE and STAIND (whose 2001 rooftop in-store performance attracted 7,500 fans to the store) experienced a devastating fire Wednesday night (August 29). The cause, arson investigators say, was a faulty extension cord.
The decimated 4,000 square foot record store has been the toast of not only its native Long Island, but also a national testimony to the perseverance of the independent music retailer. In an age when much of the general outlook seems bleak, Looney Tunes is 35 years standing. The family-owned business, first opened by Karl Groeger in 1971, is now run by his sons Karl, Jr. and Jaime.
The intention at press time is to rebuild Looney Tunes as soon as possible. Despite hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise and memorabilia including 57 autographed guitars and countless gold and platinum records destroyed, owner Karl Groeger, Jr., asks customers and fans, "Keep us in your prayers, but have faith that we will be back stronger than ever." Groeger's attitude, still positive in the wake of the devastating fire, is clearly an indication of what's made Looney Tunes work over the years — moving forward, despite the circumstances or the climate.
Looney Tunes is a long time member of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS), an organization that supports the best music stores in the country. CIMS President Don Van Cleave reflected, "Looney Tunes is one of music's premier stores. Their focus on serving the music fans of Long Island is legendary. We will miss their energy while they rebuild and look forward to the store being even better when it reopens."
Music industry folks wishing to send donations for the rebuilding of Looney Tunes can address their offerings to Don Van Cleave at the Coalition Of Independent Music Stores; 3738 4th Terrace North, Birmingham, AL 35222. This can include a financial donation, autographed memorabilia or award plaques.
For more information about Looney Tunes, go to this location.