To all our friends, family and fans,
As you may or may not know our friend and bandmate, Kevin Cole, the singer/guitarist and main songwriter for The Turbo AC's, moved to Puerto Rico a few years ago to finally live his dream of living by the beach, surfing, making music, and cooking. He opened Revolution Pizza, and not long after that he began winning awards for his amazing punk rock themed restaurant. He's been working diligently on new music, and surfing all the time. Kevin Cole was living his dream. Sadly, his dream has turned into a nightmare of epic proportions.
I'm sure you all know that Puerto Rico was hit by two hurricanes in very short succession, the worst of which being Hurricane Maria, which made global news on September 20th for not just wreaking havoc, but causing causing a level of widespread destruction and disorganization paralleled by few storms in American history, resulting in a full on humanitarian crisis. Almost two weeks after the storm abated, most of the island’s residents still lack access to electricity and clean water, and are not expected to regain electricity for 4 to 6 months. From a meteorological standpoint, Maria was nearly a worst-case scenario for the territory: The center of a huge, nearly Category 5 hurricane made a direct hit on Puerto Rico, lashing the island with wind and rain for longer than 30 hours. “It was as if a 50- to 60-mile-wide tornado raged across Puerto Rico, like a buzz saw,” Jeff Weber, a meteorologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has said.
Maria has many elements of a “catastrophic event,” and not just a disaster, says Tricia Wachtendorf, a professor of sociology at the University of Delaware who studies disaster relief.
Luckily, Kevin is physically OK. His family and friends were panicked and couldn't get ahold of him for several days after Maria. His sister Tania found a youtube video that showed the businesses in Luquillo, where Kevin lives, and you can actually see his shop for one second - taking a saltwater bath. Just like that his one of a kind punk rock Pizza shop took a beating it probably can't recover from. Revolution Pizza is underwater - gone. Despite the loss, Kevin still feels responsible for the 20 employees and their families that worked there, and isn't sure if he can allow himself to throw in the towel without a fight.
Amazingly, Kevin was able to save his studio and the files of material he's been working on for the next Turbo Ac's record. And he's been working diligently to clean and take stock of what can be done at Revolution to get these people their livelihood back, and any hope of his dream. He has said "at the very least, I need a $10,000 generator to power this place. And even if I get that, gas is like gold right now, and it's very hard to get."
I said to Kevin "I bet you've seen some crazy stuff lately," to which he replied "I just watched a security video of my friend getting shot in the head for a yaris". That's how bad it is. As time goes by, other tragedies and news take center stage. But the thing is - as time goes on, the situation for many in Puerto Rico is GETTING WORSE.
People are dying, running out of food, water, life-saving medicine, and other essentials. Relief efforts are having an incredibly hard time getting supplies to the people that need them because the roads are blocked or destroyed, and many truck drivers cannot return to work because they have their own crisises to deal with. Kevin has been surving with a small camping stove in the dark now for almost 20 days. We MUST save our friend.
SO - Kevin has two choices: try to get the pizza shop somehow up and running again, or escape Puerto Rico and start a new life somewhere else. Either option is daunting.
That's where you come in.
Kevin didn't ask for help when his band and their van flipped into an icy ditch on the road in Colorado. He didn't ask for help when 9/11 ravaged his beloved city of New York where he had been living at the time for many years, taking many of his friends and causing him respitory problems. He didn't ask for help when Hurricane Sandy stole the bands trailer with all of their gear in it - destroying every t-shirt, every drum, every amplifier.
That's the way Kevin is, and I'm sure those of you that know him will attest to the fact that he is always smiling, always optimistic, and helps anyone he can, all the time. I once watched him show an old man at a rest stop an easier way to slice a mango. He just does that. He doesn't ask for help. So this time we're asking for him, because he really needs us right now.
We are currently trying to raise money to help Kevin either rebuild the restaurant, or find a way out of Puerto Rico. He has expressed interest in possibly going to Montreal, where our drummer Other Mike lives, and can help him - and at least he'll be able to pour his frustrations out into his music and we can release a great album and get back on the road. This band embodies the spirit of rock n' roll - no matter what punches fate delivers, The Turbo AC's might be born to lose, but we live to win. And the only way we can do that is with our friend Kevin Cole leading the charge and beating the odds, as he always does.
Let's help kevin Cole get back on his feet
We're asking for $10,000 - which may not even begin to cover the losses. It's difficult to say what to expect from this - we may get ten bucks - but between us, we have a lot of friends and supporters, so if we can, we will blow right past our goal and give the remainder of the money to the people of Puerto Rico. We will finish our album, and YOU will now be a part of making that happen, and we will try to find a way to make sure you get something special for your kindness. We will appreciate any donation we recieve, and if any of you have other ideas of ways to help, please send us a message at www.facebook.com/turboacs .Please help us and spread this message to as many people as you can, and we thank you so much for your support over the years. You guys are the reason we keep doing this. LIVE TO WIN!
~ The Turbo AC's