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Williamsburg’s artist community mourned the death of a popular musician who gave the popular hipster community its beat.
Gerhardt “Jerry” Fuchs, 34, a drummer with several bands, who grew up and perfected his artistry in Georgia, fell to his death Nov. 8 after trying to jump from an elevator stuck between floors at a benefit party on Berry Street.
Fuchs, who lived in Bushwick, was a major player in the burgeoning Williamsburg music scene - touring, playing and performing with several bands including Vineland, Juan MacLean, Turing Machine, Holy Ghost!, LCD Soundsystem and Maserati.
“He was someone who was friends with everyone he met and was just a gregarious face you’d see at the party, or at the bar, or on the street - making jokes and being entertaining with lots of Southern charm,” said Todd Patrick, who books bands in several alternative spaces throughout Brooklyn.
“There aren’t that many people who you barely know but you still feel real loss for when they’re gone - but it really took a chunk out of me yesterday when I heard that Jerry had died,” he added.
Sheryl Witlen, a consultant at Sneak Attack Media and a local DJ, called Fuchs’ death a terrible loss to the entire community and especially DFA Records who produced some of the bands for which he played.
“It is incredibly shocking and sad when you lose anyone so talented at such a young age. In many ways Fuchs was the pulsating heartbeat within the Williamsburg music community,” said Witlen.
“He represented the best and the brightest of everything that is organic and inspiring coming out of the Brooklyn scene. He will be sorely missed by DFA, all of his fans, family and friends,” she added.
The incident in which Fuchs died happened at about 12:30 a.m. at 338 Berry Street, a mixed-use commercial and residential building.
Fuchs was in the freight elevator with another male guest when it got stuck between floors.
The friend jumped down a few feet to the fifth floor, but in trying to jump down, Fuchs’ clothing caught on the elevator, yanking him back benath the elevator, at which point he fell down the shaft.
Fuchs died at Bellevue Hospital at 3:30 a.m.
Department of Buildings spokesperson Carly Sullivan said the agency investigated after the accident and found no mechanical issues with elevator.
It appears the two individuals manually operated the elevator, which stopped a little above the fifth floor, she said.
“There’s no pending issues with the elevator at this point and no open violations concerning the elevator,” Sullivan added.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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