Giorgio Gomelsky: dedicated to the honesty of music

STORY BY Holly Ramos

Published: April 30, 2013

In 1991 Jesse Malin, Howie Pyro, and I threw the very first GREENDOOR dance party in Giorgio Gomelsky’s air-condition-less loft on 24th street. That night I taped an old scratchy copy of the 45 Greendoor (what’s that secret your keeping?) onto the outside of the quite unmarked green door on quiet west 24th street to help people find the party. We had no idea what was about to happen. When I left that next morning, the record had been stolen by a fan, and history had been made. 

For over a decade, I would DJ at that space into the wee hours, and then the get on the dance floor and sweat with the masses in an ode to joy of IGGY, the Stones, The Ramones and James Brown, Funkadelic, T Rex, and the Dolls- the greatest music in the world that no one at that time was playing. Our goal was to create a place that we would want to go and so we did. The dress code was to look beautiful and wear as little as possible because it was so hot. By the end of any given night I had destroyed the stunning hair and makeup I had worked so hard on, but my high heels and slip still looked good. Around 6am, while most of us would find some beautiful creature to go home with and catch a cab on 7th avenue back to the east village as the sun came up over manhattan, Giorgio would just go up stairs to his bedroom. This loft, after all, was his home.

Years before, as a 15-year-old I visited that very same place for the first time. It was one of Giorgio’s soup parties. Richard Hell and David Johansen were there, sitting on the steps drinking the soup. We were all together in that magical space. Giorgio was so democratic in that way, bring everyone together as equals, kids and legends. The most memorable part of the evening was hearing Giorgio call Richard Hell “Ricardo Inferno.” I thought it sounded better than his already brilliant name.

I spent a lot of time over at Giorgio’s place. For a while my band Fur use to rehearse at the loft.  One day Giorgio came down and said we were the loudest band that ever played there, louder than the Bad Brains. We took it as a compliment, not getting the hint to turn those Marshalls down….still, he let us play. He let everyone do their thing. He still does.

The Greendoor days were a grand time when life was all about doing nothing and trying everything. We were living to have fun, dress up, dance, appreciate great music and create music. Georgio was the person who gave us the room to let us fly. He rented the space to us for pennies and spent the night participating. He was the channel that allowed things to happen, that allowed artists to do their thing in a supportive space. How nice to have him in your corner, supporting your endeavor. Oh my, if those walls could talk. But they, like me, must protect the guilty. 

Did I mention that Giorgio has also worked with and helped launch the careers of the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds. I figured you already knew that. His resume is endless. He has been doing interesting things in the music world for over 50 years, long before me and mine, and he is still going strong. The guy’s got endless energy, enthusiasm and youth, really. 

Giorgio is an institution in the underground art and music world. His spirit is so generous, he is fantastically European in his attitude, he is an outlaw of culture, a creator of scenes, an enabler of dreams, a supporter and friend, cool, smart, funny, passionate, 79-years-old and dedicated to the honesty of music. God bless this guy.

There are some issues at Giorgio’s loft these days and there is a Kickstarter campaign to get some repairs happening. Give it all you got, people. The world needs more Giorgios. Lets pay homage to the one we have by putting our money where our mouth is. I did. If you are the first to donate $650 you can get a signed Bob Gruen print of John Lennon, which, I will gladly accept if you already have one.

By the way, the door is now pained red and the space is called the Red Door. Act quick, the kickstarter campaign ends Thursday may 2nd. 

NY Times: His Studio Is in Disrepair, but His Passion for Music Is Intact

- Kickstarter: Revive Legendary NYC Rock N' Roll Establishment: Red Door

Other Stories by Holly Ramos
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