Chelsea’s ‘Red Door’ Performance Space Crowdfunding for Repairs

Posted on: April 3rd, 2013 at 6:34 am by
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For the last 35 years, music luminary Giorgio Gomelsky nurtured the city’s rock scene with his rehearsal space inside a Chelsea industrial townhouse. The Londoner arrived here in 1978 for a week-long holiday and never left, instead acquiring 140 West 24th Street and starting what would today be called the Red Door. Its name changed over the years, but always based on the colors of the front door (previous incarnations were Green and Purple). Nico, Bad Brains, Richard Hell, Jeff Buckley, The Rapture, and White Rabbit have all rehearsed here.

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But the Red Door is under some distress, thanks to instability at the ten-story building next door (number 142-146). Debris from the top two floors of the abandoned structure reportedly damaged the venue a decade ago, and Gomelsky has been struggling to maintain the space in the interim. Events and rehearsals are ongoing, but the space needs TLC. Thus, organizing under the banner of the Red Door Collective, the group created a Kickstarter campaign with the hope of restoring the space as a “creative lab for artists to create and showcase to the community in NYC.”

Money raised (goal is $25,000) will help defray the costs necessary for interior repairs and equipment replacement. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

At the moment, there is still tremendous damage to the roof that has caused increasingly dangerous leaks making it impossible to use the space. Parts of the ceiling have collapsed and large portions of the wood floor has rotten due to water damage.

Thousands of dollars worth of sound equipment, pianos and other musical instruments, lighting and furniture have been destroyed by the leaks. As a consequence, many bands have been forced to go elsewhere, and events and showcases have been suspended. The spirit of the space that once was an embodiment of pulsing creativity now needs our help and support.

At the present moment, Giorgio still resides at the Red Door and is trying to keep the spirit alive and is still helping out bands and artists. He’s also writing a well deserved, and well needed book – an autobiography that I can assure will be nothing short of incredibly interesting and important facts filled with tremendous stories and well known characters in the history of rock ‘n roll. But under the conditions that Red Door is under now, it has been nearly impossible for him to concentrate on his writing while trying to keep the place alive. And that’s where we come in!

Giorgio had already done a share of shaping and shaking the scene across the pond. In the early 60’s he opened up The Crawdaddy Club in the outskirts of London where he first launched a little band called The Rolling Stones. Keith Richards reminisces Giorgio in his autobiography Life as “a great bear of a man with incredible drive and enthusiasm. He did amazing things, put us up, got us gigs.” Giorgio then moved on to produce and manage The Yardbirds, the band that launched the careers of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, the latter of whom would later turn the band into Led Zeppelin!

If you feel inspired to help the cause, hit the link before the end date of May 2.

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