The time has come to say good-bye. Lofish Studios, our little joint on 28th street, is shutting its doors for good with its last recording day on January 20th.
Walter and I started this thing, oh, 17 years or so ago in our living room, and it morphed a few times, moved locations a few times and settled in for a respectable 11 years on this last spot.
But gentrification doesn't stop for anyone, and after seeing several other studios go out of business due to its voracious appetite, our home away from home is going down the same road.
It's the same old story, heard by the proverbial campfire so many times before: building gets sold, new owners triple the rent and kapow - you're out. Many people asked us why we don't simply move somewhere else. Relocate. Well, we DID move. We DID relocate. To this place, 11 years ago. But back then we got incredibly lucky, and circumstances aligned so we could actually afford to take this place over. Now things are very different in the commercial real estate industry.
In 1998 Walter and I went to buy a computer, and a scanner, and a color printer. And a CD duplicator that could burn ONE CD in - wait for it - double the playing time! Since we were the only ones among our jazz musician friends who had all of this awesome equipment and a prehistoric version of Photoshop, our friends asked if they could use our little burner to make some demos, clobber together a CD cover to get gigs. And voila - Lofish Productions was born. Back then it was lacking the Inc, that came later. As did the studio, when the storefront facility below our apartment became available. For a while we had our own 3-story empire going down on Eldridge Street. The CD duplication business thrived for about 3 years, until it got killed dead by 9/11 and the rise of personal computers that actually came with CD burners.
But by that time we had already built a small studio in the back of the storefront, with a live room in the basement that you could only reach through a pee stained trap door on the sidewalk outside the building. It was funky, it was musty, it was glorious.
When landlord issues forced us out of that place I combed through Craigslist over and over until I stumbled on the ad for a studio on 28th street. It was love at first sight. I remember laying down on the floor of studio A, listening to the silence and feeling at peace.
The studio has had its ups and downs, like any business. But we survived year in and year out, even the crash of 2008 and the subsequent Great Recession. A lot of that was due to a great team of engineers who quite frankly worked their asses off attempting to make every session a success. And of course, you, our clients. Without you, your continued patronage and loyalty to the studio none of this would have been possible.
So I thank you, the people who chose to come to Lofish and create their magic here. I thank you for your inspiration, your craziness, your art. I thank you for continuing to believe in your music, and for continuing to be creators in an environment that appears to be progressively less conducive to the arts. You have been great. Please continue to be the fabulous, colorful and bright beings that you are.
And finally I want to thank the Lofish team, past and present, most notably: Reed, Chris, MP, Kathryn, Sean, Jabbath, Alex, John, Shachar, and Mike. I salute you for digging your heels in, keeping Lofish up and running, and doing thousands of sessions, small and large, with the famous and infamous. You guys rocked this house.
Elisabeth and Walter