As explained in the previous blog entry about the people that run these places, eventually they get shutdown, for the same reasons, and usually in the same way by the cities building code inspector, the fire chief, law enforcement, and the zoning attorney. Essentially, the city looks at this operation through the stereotype they have of bands in general (even if it isn’t true all the time), which is that they are nothing but a bunch of drug toting, drunken derelicts that they just as soon run out of town!
Peabody Jam Rooms – This place operated illegally beneath the radar in a building ditched in the background of the cities industrial area for sometime. It was run by a musician wannabee masquerading as someone important. All came crashing down one night when two hundred or so underage teens descended on the building for a live show that the younger bands had all planned. They were hanging out inside and outside in the parking lots with alcohol and drugs. Law enforcement descended on the place in bulk, and it was shutdown faster than you could bat an eyelash by the city, citing building, safety, zoning, occupancy, and criminal violations. It made all the local newspapers, and the city will not allow another rehearsal space within it’s borders.
The Cambridge Music Complex – This building has long since been bulldozed over and was comprised of a maze of jam rooms made out of plywood doors with padlocks on them. The zig zag corridors all made of exposed plywood offered little for sound isolation, but would have been terrific in a fire. It was shutdown for fire code, occupancy, and safety violations. Memorable was the stench coming from the backed up toilets and urinals that didn’t work!
Riversedge – The entire building was shutdown by the city building inspector and code enforcement officer for numerous safety, building, and occupancy violations. Attention was brought to it because of the noise emanating from the building and the bands rehearsing in there without proper permits. The city will not allow another rehearsal space.
The Boot Mill – This was the place that was run by a convicted child molester, who used to molest the teens he had helping run the rehearsal space up in his office. When he went to prison, the rehearsal space lease was taken over by another wannabee musician, who let the chaos get out of control. There was so much drinking, drugging, vandalism, and chaos, that it was disrupting the rest of the Boot Mill’s business clients. Together the city and the Boot Mill shut it down by not renewing the lease. The city now frowns upon any rehearsal space, however the same guy that ran this place keeps trying to re-emerge and is continually run out of town.
Lawton’s Hot Dogs – This place was actually located across the street from the hot dog place, but it became known as Lawton’s to the bands. The building suffered from severe dry rot of the floor boards, so that on the upper floors, you could crack right through to the 1st floor if you stepped too hard. The elevators were the old rope pull elevators that never passed the elevator inspection, and where if you got stuck, you were never coming out. You could here the bands so loud right on the main street, that it was destined to be found out. A couple of different musician wannabees tried to run it, one even lived there with his dog and a gun for security. It was such a fire and safety hazard, the city shut the entire place down in a heartbeat once they figured out what was going on.
Burlington Rehearsal Studios – This short lived attempt was by a guy trying to make an extra buck on some vacant building space, only problem was, he never bothered to tell the city, but they sure told him instead once they found out the bands were in there without the proper permitting. He shut it down himself willingly.
The Littleton Barn – For years this placed existed in a wooden structure in a little town until it was sold as a pet grooming salon. It most certainly was a fire trap with unsafe electrical wiring, and no sprinkler system or fire safety. The bands cumulatively put a huge drain on the wiring, and there never was proper occupancy permits. All this combined with the drinking and drugging led the town to put pressure on shutting it down.
The Sound Museum – This Denby Street location in Allston was the worst of the worst with sometimes three to five bands all crammed into one room just to try to afford the steep $500 to $600 a month rent price tag. Corridor after corridor of squalid stench, garbage, and debris including the urinals that no longer were attached to the walls, and that never worked anyway (thus the piss everywhere and stench). The place was never supervised, and because of all the building code, fire safety, drug, and alcohol violations erupting into pure pandomoneum on most nights, the fact that occupancy permits were never issued or sought led to its final demise.
We could go on and on and tell you about the 15 other places that got shutdown in MA, CT, and NH, but why bother you get the point and its always the same. Instead be sure to read all the blog entries including the horror stories post and only rent at a bona fide music industry operated rehearsal complex.
Here are a couple newspaper links of what could happen to you if you are caught up in one these places run by unsavory individuals and the squalid conditions that come with them.
Six arrested on drug charges living in jam space housing jam rooms – building shut down
Police, Fire, Detectives shut down fire trap building housing jam space