Sound Factory

Charting Musical Dreams

A generation ago, teens with headlining hopes dreamed of riffing with guitar god Jimi Hendrix. Soon, though, reveries gave way to reality and, as careers and family took center stage, music became a spectator sport.

But, for baby boomers with visions of Stardust dancing through their heads, their passion now has an outlet: the Studio, a year-old club and full-service studio whose motto is "You don't have to quit your day job to be a musician."

"A lot of people don't come here with grandiose ideas of becoming rock and roll stars, but they want a taste of it, and that's what we offer," says Bob Elliott, the club's president and cofounder.

Tuned to the needs of the city's aspiring musicians, the Studio provides a medley of instruction and networking opportunities. Beginners as well as veterans are invited to meet, organize a band, rehearse, or jam, and the Studio maintains a database that helps match melody makers with others who share their tastes and ability. Some of the additional services they offer are music clinics, lessons, and in-house guitar repairs.

The composition has proven to be successful. Since opening last April, the club has grown to 230 members from widely divergent backgrounds, including full-time musicians, CEOs, doctors, brokers, mechanics, lawyers, and television anchors, many of whom participate in the monthly "Performance Nites" series. Held at local venues such as the Bitter End, Millennium, Le Bar Bat, and Downtime, the gigs allow up-and-comers to showcase their talent before a live audience and are also featured on the Studio's own public access program, The Scene.

"People want to self-realize," says member Bruce Wilcox, chairman of an investment management firm, of the shows' allure. "To play the Bitter End when they're packed 10 deep and everyone's singing along and cheering you on— that's the fulfillment of the wish."

The Studio is located at 251 West 30th Street. For additional information, call 967-6124.

 
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