John Eatherly has been doing the music thing for a while, having dropped out of high school at 17 to pursue music. “I’ve played in a lot of different bands over the years,” he explained. But Public Access TV seems to be his most focused effort to date. The band has just dropped their first proper release in the United States, Public Access EP on Terrible Records, and Eatherly’s not just songwriting, he’s also spotlighted as the lead vocals and guitars. The fact that Public Access TV really sees Eatherly coming into his own probably has something to do with the fact that he’s supremely close with all the other band members. In fact, three of four members (all except for the drummer) lived together in an East Village apartment. New York’s always been somewhat tough, Eatherly admits, but when their apartment burned down in the East Village fire last month, he realized things could always be harder.
East Village fire
This morning, outside of a shuttered B&H Dairy, owner Fawzy Abdelwahad stood waiting for Con Ed inspectors who were due to check his gas line. Since an explosion leveled three buildings a few doors down from him last week, he’s been working with various city agencies and his insurance company to reopen his 73-year-old diner and keep his business from going under.
Abdelwahad, who has owned B&H for 13 years, said that with taxes, rent, insurance, labor, food, and supplies, his expenses run between $30,000 to $40,000 a month. He has no savings and no personal assets to leverage in order to support the business. “If it’s going to be like this for a while,” he said, waving at the darkened diner, “we could be out of business like, 1-2-3.” He estimated that it would not be able to survive more than a three-week closure. “I love it, of course,” he said of the greasy spoon. “It’s like my son, one of my children, my family.”