Pearl Studios to Silent Green
"The Hardy Heart" monthly blog - January 2018
In the beginning of 2010 I moved into a home with one of one of my best friends Ian Lonsdale. I had found the home on the local classified website KSL with no pictures, but a great price tag and the right location - close to the corner of 900 east and 1300 south in the Liberty Park area of Salt Lake City, Utah. The first time I went to check it out, I wondered if I had been given the wrong address because the home I was standing in front of I knew as Gonzo's Guitars shop. When the landlord opened the door and we started chatting, he explained to me that Gonzo had passed away a few months before. Gonzo was a super chill guy who lived and ran his business from this home. He had helped me out with my guitar needs on a number of occasions and although he didn’t know me on a first name basis, I felt an affinity to him as a music icon in the Salt Lake scene and was honored to be taking over the home after his passing.
Before Ian and I began our search for a place to rent, we had made a list of a few things we really wanted in a home: a gas stove, lots of natural lighting, ample parking and room for a music jam/recording space. Gonzo’s house had a classic Salt Lake City unfinished basement with part dirt/part concrete floors and just tall enough ceilings that two guys below 5’ 10” had a relatively easy time moving around - except for that one low hanging pipe that about once a month someone would forget about and smack their head into! It took Ian and I the better part of a month to deep clean the basement, lay down some huge rugs and carpets, paint the walls, clear the cobwebs between the beams and move a bunch of Gonzo’s old things out. Every now and then we would come across a box of guitar strings or some other random gear, show it to the landlord and split the booty.
Once the basement was ready, we strung up an exorbitant amount of christmas lights, placed a couple of couches, tables and chairs and then moved in our music gear - the most exciting of which was a brand new, two speaker, Yamaha PA system and mixing board. We dubbed the basement Pearl Studios Music Lounge and when the weekends rolled around began to host other music friends over for jam sessions that would run into the wee hours. The picture at the top of this blog is of my friend and old boss Quinn McDonough (owner of Coffee Noir) on drums, our friend and musical genius Skyle