When the news broke that Steve Manley, owner of beloved State Street record store B-Side Records, suffered a brutal bike incident, it seemed like the beginning of a story becoming all too repetitive in Madison.
A Madison institution shuts down only to be replaced by some “faux-tique” chain. Losing Steve Manley, his son Brendan Manley explained, would mean that not only would the store lose its owner, it would also lose it’s most active employee — his daily duties ranging from accounts receivable to janitorial duties.
In dire times, Brendan Manley, and the rest of the Manley circle, turned to the crowdfunding website Gofundme.com to raise $6,000 to hire two new employees to fill Steve Manley’s absence during his three-month recovery time.
At first pessimistic, Brendan Manley warned on the fundraiser page that if they didn’t hit their goal and make it through Christmas, “B-Side may no longer be able to keep its doors open.” Additionally, he wrote, “This has been a shock and a devastation to him and the family, so absolutely anything you can give is greatly appreciated.”
What followed is, literally the stuff of holiday movies. In less than five hours after the initial posting, they reached their goal. And now, 24 hours, more than 500 contributions and 3.6k shares on Twitter and Facebook late, they’ve more than tripled their initial goal.
That just warms the heart, perhaps none more than the one of Steve Manley who posted his humble thanks on the store’s Facebook page this morning from his post-operation bed.
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Aside from the obviously great news that B-Side is staying open, there are a few other strong takeaways from this holiday season miracle. One is that this was an exuberant, if not defiant, demonstration of strength from Madison’s music scene and it’s fans. One of the best parts of B-side records is it’s unbridled support of local artists, proudly placing the works of local artists alongside those of national acts in its display. B-side has always had Madison’s music scene’s back, and this time the opposite happened.
The second is that many of the donations were small ones of about $5.
Some stories are just too good to be true, but with the B-Side overnight comeback, it’s too good not to be.