Norton Records Need Your Help!! (Hurricane Sandy)

Text by Rachel D. Abrams ~ Photos by Eilon Paz
If you love vinyl, if you pierced your ears with rock’n’roll, Texas funk or Bowery punk, or just want to do something worthwhile in the post-Sandy recovery, go help out Norton Records in Red Hook, Brooklyn. They need you!
When Hurricane Sandy reached the 30-year old label’s Van Brunt Street warehouse last week, it hit hard. On a good day, Norton catalogs, reissues and distributes LPs, CDs and 45s, collectibles from America’s golden age. On a bad day, last Monday, over 5 feet of storm waters gushed into its ground floor store. A massive, miserable spin cycle turned Norton’s vast inventory of vinyl treasure into a chaos of soggy cardboard overnight:

In the backwash, the flood’s force pulled hundreds of boxes, thousands of records, CDs, books and magazines off shelves, and from the front to the back of the space. Like a library up in flames to an avid reader, the devastation brings tears to old rockers’ and collectors’ eyes. But the label’s founders, Miriam Linna and Billy Miller, insist that with help from Norton’s friends, enthusiasts and local volunteers, all is not lost.

While CDs get compacted and pulp fiction gets pulped, vinyl can be cleaned and dried. Rescued records will be reissued in reprinted covers. From their epic catalog, Howlin’ Wolf, Del Shannon, Patti LaBelle, Sun Ra, the Shangri-Las, rare gems of El Paso Rock and Las Vegas Grind, even the The Swamp Rats, are waiting to be taken to higher ground.

So in coming days and weeks, Miriam and Billy urgently need volunteers to help salvage what can still be saved: Staff and helpers are already moving boxes and boxes of untouched stock offsite. In good spirits and in rubber gloves, Saturday’s crew cleared a third of the space in just a few hours. The owners deeply appreciate the progress, but there’s still a long way to go:
Volunteers are invited to help at the Red Hook warehouse and at the office in Prospect Heights, to help sort and shift heaps of damp records, and to dry out the vinyl before the mushed LP sleeves rot.

 Call Billy on 917 671 7185 or email with ‘volunteer’ in the subject header to find out how to help out. With your support, Norton will return as the place where, once again, loud sound abounds.

10 Responses

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  3. Cedric Karl Fonk

    I am devastated!! However, I am very confident that you managed to salvage most, if not all, of the vinyl affected during the hurricane. I wish I could have flown over to give you a helping hand and get back into business. I feel that I belong there since music and vinyl are 2 of my 4 loves! If I could help you in any way, please let me know.
    Malta, Europe

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