For the last 35 years, this somewhat hidden and very special place has been an important creative space for music, art, and events. It has been home to many artists such as Jeff Buckley, Bad Brains, D Generation, Nico, and most recently The Rapture and The Walkmen.
In the last couple of years, the space has suffered many damages and challenges, and we are now working to make the necessary repairs and upgrades to keep the place alive to host cutting edge artists and events.
By pledging to this project, you will help to make the place sustainable, in return for rewards such as invites to Red Door events and music showcases, limited edition memorabilia (rock n roll photos, CDs, video), booking your own private event, limited T-shirts and other cool stuff (see rewards). But most importantly, you'll be involved in the revival of Red Door which will also help give its legendary founder, Mr. Gomelsky some breathing room to write his oft-postponed book!
In 1978, a man by the name of Giorgio Gomelsky was able to get a hold of a little industrial townhouse building tucked away near the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, just a few blocks away from Andy Warhol’s famous “Factory” that was popping at that time. Once a printing press, and in a similar fashion to The Factory, Giorgio’s space (which is currently known as the Red Door) was set out to be a Laboratory with the idea of having an accessible and affordable place for talented musicians and artists to develop, create and showcase exciting propositions that hadn't been done before. It was to be a place to make music and art that wasn’t exactly commercial, but that had a purpose and that could shape and shake up the NY scene a bit.
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!
So in the 70’s, Giorgio landed in NYC for what was to be a week long trip, but as destiny would have it, he’s still here now. That’s how the Red Door came about, but not without first passing through different times and colors of the door, by which it has been respectively known. As such The Red Door, Green Door, Purple Door or what have you, has provided a home, rehearsal spaces, showcases and a launching pad for many important artists for almost 35 years now. Jeff Buckley did his thing there, rehearsing long hours until he got it right and made magic with his band. As Giorgio recalls, “ Jeff rehearsed in the floor below, and one day as I was sitting in this chair, suddenly there was magic - I was literally lifted up 2 feet in the air from my chair! Jeff had finally gotten it right with his band and it was incredible what power and magic music can have when it’s there! Jeff was an incredibly gifted artist and a very nice person, and it’s such a shame that he went off and drowned in Memphis soon after he left here. I believe he would have become one of the most important and influential artists of our time.”
There was also Bill Laswell who created his own magic and also crashed at the space for more than a year, as did Nico, after being with The Velvet Underground, when she was broke and homeless. Bad Brains, Richard Hell, Richard Lloyd, Alejandro Escovedo, and more recently The Rapture, The Subjects, White Rabbit, Barra Libre, Band from Colorado, City of The Sun, and The Walkmen have rehearsed and done a thing or two here. And then there’s Jesse Malin, who was really important to the space. He formed D Generation in the 90’s, with whom he rehearsed and played there, and gave birth to the remarkable rock 'n' roll Green Door Parties - yes, the door was green back then – which he later took to the famous Coney Island High venue that he opened in St. Marks. The rest is history and indeed filled with many stories!
So as such, the Red Door - that's right, now the door is red - has been a creative lab space for many artists, collaborations, and events. This was a lot of fun up until ten years ago when the building next door collapsed causing serious damage to the Red Door space. Unfortunately, the neighbors didn't take any responsibility for the destruction and devastation this caused, and as an artist-supported building we had no choice but to suffer and deal with the deterioration that this brought about.
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!
The aim of this project is to revive the Red Door, set forth a new legacy and re-launch its mission to provide a space for both new talent as well as established artists to create, rehearse and showcase, allowing audiences to experience always something different in this authentic and legendary space. This is one of the last remaining places like this in New York City, and we’re going to save it!
WHO WE ARE
Red Door Collective is a newly formed collaborative founded by Raul Gonzalez, Ian Cuttler and Giorgio Gomelsky, with the mission to restore and revive The Red Door as a creative lab for artists to create and showcase to the community in NYC.
Raul Gonzalez: Musician, Events Producer, PR guy, soccer fan and owner of Red Door's mascot, Maximilian the French Bulldog. Met Giorgio in 2005 while playing with Latin-Punk-Funk band, BARRA LIBRE http://www.myspace.com/barralibre. Giorgio produced Barra Libre's first EP in 2006, and Raul has been a music resident at the Red Door ever since.
Ian Cuttler: Creative Director, Photographer and Grammy Award Winning Art Director. Ian had been enthusiastically attending showcases at Red Door in the past and in early 2013 decided to get involved and partnered to co-found Red Door Collective. www.iancuttler.com
Giorgio Gomelsky: The captain of The Red Door, Giorgio is a valuable and legendary figure like no other. An "unsung hero" in rock 'n roll history, he kickstarted the careers of The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and many other artists, and has chosen to remain under the radar, still pushing innovative and creative ideas forward now at The Red Door, which he acquired in 1978.http://www.allmusic.com/artist/giorgio-gomelsky-mn0000553528
WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO
• Reaching $25k We can make the bare minimum repairs for the place to be functional and run even on rainy days. This means fixing most of the damages on the roof, inner leaks and ceilings. We will also be able to rebuild the stage, replace damaged lights, restore the sound system and fix plumbing issues, along other minor repairs.
• Reaching $35K We would be able to make the much needed upgrades to the electrical system, extend the sound system, and replace basic backline (base amp and drum parts).
• Reaching $50K We would be able to replace our house piano which was destroyed by the leaking water, and be able to upgrade house backline (amps and drums).
•Reaching $75K We would be able to repair and restore the basement which gets flooded by drainge from the street every time it rains. The basement would provide once more another rehersal room for musicians.
• Reaching $100K + We would be able to do sound proofing for bigger and better showcases, add a recording facility and archive 35 years of Giorgio Gomelsky's legacy, such as recordings, videos and images related to the history of rock 'n roll.
Risks and challenges
The basic amount that we are asking for is to be able to have the place up and running once again without leaks and further water damage. On the meantime we have done temporary patches to be able to fulfill our commitment to our backers without compromising the rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)