The beloved independent record store has three locations (Berkeley, San Francisco and Hollywood) and in its 30 years of existence it has hosted live shows by everyone from Paul McCartney to Elvis Costello to Gary Clark Jr. to Anderson .Paak.
Not only is Amoeba the greatest resource to find rare music, movies and rock and roll memorabilia, the business continually contributes to charitable causes like the Rainforest Action Network and after Hurricane Katrina they raised over half a million dollars to rebuilding the hard hit areas of New Orleans. “It has been a part of our culture from day one that we are committed to giving back and sharing the support we receive,” owner Dave Prinz says of the business.
Although Amoeba is to many the church of rock and roll collectibles, the COVID-19 global pandemic has threatened the business and faith alone might not be enough for it to survive. “We have weathered many storms–911, recessions, the Internet, downloading and streaming,” Prinz says. “But we don’t know that we can weather the COVID-19 storm.”
He goes on to say: “All three of our stores have been closed since mid-March and must remain closed indefinitely. With no way to generate income, our savings are running out, with bills and rent coming due, and with a primary commitment to our staff, who we are trying to keep as healthy and financially sound as possible. We’d like to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to keep Amoeba going, and to position ourselves to play a vital role in what is for now a very uncertain future. We know how much we’re all going to need Amoeba again, this oasis of music, where we can find each other once more.”
Prinz admits, “We’re exploring every possible means of support, including federal and local grants and loans. But these funds are not guaranteed to come in, and they won’t meet the needs of our short-term future. So, we most humbly ask for your help. We know that this is a very difficult and uncertain time for everyone, and we understand that there are many individuals and organizations in need.”
The GoFundMe campaign will serve to take care of its 400-person staff and allow the record store to continue to operate until doors are deemed safe to be opened again. The money will also be used to help finance the record store’s fall move to their new Hollywood location.
“We know these are such hard times for everyone,” Prinz says. “It is a reversal for us to ask for assistance rather than give it, but these are challenging times, and we truly need your help. We do so with deep respect and gratitude to all of our customers.”