Brian McLane

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251 WEST 30th STREET STILL A MECCA FOR MUSIC

May 5th, 2012 · 1 Comment · music

I walked into 251 West 30th to go to rehearsal for what probably was the 1000th time. It’s hard to believe that 30 years later I’m still going to rehearsal in the building. UltraSound has been there for much of this time with a reputation for being pretty much the best most reliable rehearsal facility in the city. Andy Justin was the owner/manager of the building and still I guess is. From what I remember he was a party animal himself.

There was a story about Cyndi Lauper nodding out in front of 251 West 30th in the days before she became a star. One time I walked into the A room at ISS (Intensive Sound Studios) run by my friend Tony Killens early only to see Paul Stanley sitting on the couch watching a band he was producing. Other interesting stalwarts including Rula Lenska, The Blessed (they’d just released “Rubbernecking”), Full Force with whom Mondo Boffo played the Ritz and their keyboard went missing. They blamed us but realized they were mistaken.

The building at 251 West 30th Street is definitely steeped in histroy with many rehearsal and recording studios coming and going over the years. I remember on Planet Sound in the basement that was particulary popular. Rogue Music used to have a recording studio on the 8th floor. The engineer was John Heckman. I wonder where he is.

Some know it as the Recording and Rehearsal Arts Building and it has large Treble Clef above the entrance. There’s a cool website called forgotten-ny.com that is worth a look. Recently I’d seen a plaque outside the Mudd Club on White Street which, along with Max’s Kansas City will be the story of another post.

Many clubs have taken their turn trying to succeed on the ground floor at 251 West 30th Street. I remember one called “Downtime” that had a good run but can’t remember a single one of the others. Now there’s a Goth Club there called Albion.

I’m going to invite Jeff who runs UltraSound to comment on this so stay tuned.

251 West 30th

Click for Forgotten New York 251 West 30th

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One Comment so far ↓

  • ChinaDoll

    I worked there today with LD and the engineer whose voice sounds like Tone Loc. Was there with Norma Jean Wright voice formerly of CHIC, Rasula… Who can go from Bass to lyric soprano in less than 6 seconds & Tatiana who has a belt that will make you scream Jesus.
    Great session and can’t wait to do it again.

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