The fire didn't burn John Meeks's equipment, it smoked it.
The storefront for Global Tile & Marble, a Kearny Mesa tile-and-marble contractor specializing in home renovations, had a major fire on February 13. The structure suffered extensive damage and, afterward, was basically “just a black shell of a building,” according to musician John Meeks.
Meeks’s band practices next door at Adder Studios. It’s one of a handful of practice facilities around town that rent rehearsal rooms by the month. Adder did not burn, but some of the practice spaces near the marble-and-tile building did undergo extensive smoke damage. The space that Meeks and his bandmates rent was one of these.
“The fire department came and took an axe to the ceilings and all the doors to try to make sure there was no fire inside of the place,” Meeks said. “So, all the smoke got in and just covered our shit. Everything was just covered in brown smoke.”
John Meeks, "Jungle Kook"
The band ended up losing access to their space for five months while the rooms were repaired. They had one future show scheduled before they were smoked out, so they found another facility with hourly rooms to prepare for that appearance.
The performance would be the first of a new phase for the band — the, according to Meeks, “every-time-we-play-a-show-it-smells-like-we’re-at-a-campfire” era of the group. Not everyone’s equipment fell victim to the smoke demons, though. Multi-instrumentalist Matt Resovich has always had a fear of leaving his gear in practice spaces. As a result, his unique, often hand-crafted instruments, escaped the coating of crud.
“He’s way too paranoid. He should get help for it,” Meeks said with a laugh. “But, it kind of paid off in that scenario. Right before the fire, his place had a big leak, and it broke through all the walls and flooded his apartment. He skipped out without his gear getting in trouble but, because he had two situations within a year like that, he was, like, ‘See! I knew it! The elements are against me!’”
2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
As long as the band can avoid earthquakes and tornadoes, they should be good to go for their show at the Casbah on October 14th. Attendees may yearn for hot dogs and s’mores as the smoky fumes permeate the air.
Even though Adder was repaired via insurance money, the dirtied instruments were not. Meeks has a couple of words of advice for avoiding an unexpected campfire era. “Renter’s insurance, for sure. You can get it for your shit at your practice space, and you should absolutely have it because it’s cheap. I think I pay, like, $125 per year,” he said.