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Bowie collaborator Mike Garson’s home & studio destroyed in California fire

Mike Garson

Mike Garson, known as a former bandmate of David Bowie’s, frequent Trent Reznor collaborator, and pianist for Smashing Pumpkins and others, is among those impacted by the California wildfires – his Los Angeles home and studio burned to the ground. Friends of the musician started a GoFundMe to raise money to help rebuild his studio. It reads:

Mike Garson is our friend. He is an amazing pianist and composer who has had an enormous impact on jazz, classical and rock music along with being a lifelong humanitarian who has helped countless people, performers and charity organizations around the world at the drop of a hat with the expectation of nothing in return. Mike’s musical career includes a decades long collaboration with David Bowie on more than 1,000 live performances and dozens of blockbuster albums along with albums and performances with greats like Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins and so many more. Mike has been the soundtrack to so many of our lives and it’s time for us to give back.

Mike’s home and studio have tragically burned to the ground – a place of magic where he composed and played on thousands of pieces of music, taught and consoled musicians and friends from around the world, and shared music and stories about his time with David Bowie to fans after Bowie’s passing. Mike’s pianos, keyboards, recording equipment, historical mementos, photographs and much more were lost to the tragic fires in Southern California on November 9. We must help him rebuild his studio, get back on the piano and continue to spread his gift to us all once more.

We’ve seen Mike receiving thousand of communications, each sincere and heartwarming with one body of thought asking if there’s anything they can do to help. All Mike has been saying in return has been gracious appreciation along with encouraging words that we all “transmit the outpouring of love given [to him] and don’t wait for moments like this to show others how much [we] love and care.” We adore Mike’s philosophy and understand his hesitation to ask for help when it’s badly needed. Mike believes in the power of music’s ability to heal and it is Mike’s music and compassionate spirit that empowers us to help him.

So we’re taking over and creating this campaign on our own, on behalf of Mike but without his involvement as it’s something he would never in his wildest dreams ask for. We’re asking everyone who has been touched by Mike’s music, his spirit, his passion, each of you who has has reached out to him wondering how they can help – please donate to this fund to allow our friend to get back to work on making the world a better place, rebuilding his spirit, rebooting his music and creating a studio for many more years of Mike Garson magic to come…

Please donate what you can and help spread the word to make this happen. Thank you!

Trent Reznor is among those sharing the GoFundMe. He wrote on Twitter:

Sadly, my friend and frequent collaborator Mike Garson lost his home and studio in the recent fires. Mike is a true artist, the most incredible player I’ve ever come across and HUMBLE… so I’M asking. If you feel like helping out, please. https://www.gofundme.com/mike-garson-fund … Thanks!

Mike also shared an update of his own on Facebook:

The fire situation here in the Los Angeles area is terrible. My family and I are safe. Unfortunately, my home and studio have burned to the ground and we are devastated.

I’ve been hearing from friends, family and fans and appreciate all of the love pouring in from all corners of the globe.

I know what matters more than a house or material goods is our safety, our family, love and music. I’m so grateful to have all of this.

The outpouring of love I’ve received in light of this loss is overwhelming and my family and I are deeply touched. Many of you have asked what you can do to help. Here’s my one request: Transmit the outpouring of love you’ve given us and don’t wait for moments like this to show others how much you love and care.

Your support will remain with me forever and my music, as always, will continue.

Mike will tour with other David Bowie alumni in the 2019 ‘A Bowie Celebration’ tour, including a stop at NYC’s Irving Plaza 3/5 (tickets).

The Woolsey and Camp Fires in California have destroyed many homes, including those of Neil Young, Miley Cyrus, Fred Durst, and metal booking agent Dan Rozenblum. Over ten thousand structures are estimated to have been destroyed. The fires have also been the deadliest in California’s history, with The Guardian reporting a current death toll of 58.

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