Posted in music on September 21, 2010

by BBG

Jerry Williams RIP

Every year, thousands of Elvis Presley fans make the pilgrimage to Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee to see the place where Elvis recorded his earliest works. For fans of the Beastie Boys, a place of similar importance would be Jerry Williams's studio located at 171 Avenue A in New York City. It was at Studio 171 A that the Beastie Boys would record their very first release on the Ratcage Records label.

In September of 1980, Jerry Williams would begin renovating the interior of 171A. Previously the place had been a glass shop, but after moving in their PA equipment Williams went on to build a stage at the front and an audio booth in the back. By November the 171A Studio was a venue used to house after hours parties where downtown bands like the Cooties would perform [but] with a huge New Year's Eve show coming up, the New York Fire Dept. stepped in and stopped further shows from proceeding...

By now though 171A had gained a lot of name recognition around town, so instead of shutting it down completely Williams decided to change it into a rehearsal studio. At the time, most of the available rehearsal spots in New York City were tiny little rooms, but 171A offered much more. Jerry described it as being like "...a full sized room with 15 foot ceilings and a floor space 60 feet long and provided recording artists with a quality PA system suspended from the ceiling. It was a cut above other rehearsal studios and since it was about half the size of CBGB's it produced a very similar sound."

Over the next few years, 171A Studio would then go on to be used by the Bad Brains, Reagan Youth, Beastie Boys, Young and Useless and many more. -[Beastiemania]

171A is where Bad Brains recorded one of the most influential hardcore releases of all time, the legendary ROIR cassette, with Williams aka Jay Dublee. Dublee, whose own band was th' Cigaretz, also had a hand in the also legendary "New York Thrash" compilation from 1982 that featured early material from Kraut, Nihilistics, Bad Brains, Beastie Boys, and many others, and is considered to be a snapshot of early 80s NYHC.

Jerry Williams would have been 62 years old on Thursday, but sadly passed away in a California hospital room due to, according to his friend Mike Osterhout, liver problems. RIP Jerry.

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Comments (30)

MY LIVER! MY LIVER!

Posted by Beavis | September 21, 2010 2:00 PM

^ grow up douchebag. Stick to your wack-ass hummus jokes and worshipping Daft Punk.

Sad, sad loss as he was the coolest, most down to earth guy around. Will be very missed.

Posted by Anonymous | September 21, 2010 2:03 PM

RIP

Posted by Anonymous | September 21, 2010 2:04 PM

2:00 pm: Stay in Boise where you belong.

RIP J-Dub.

Posted by Anonymous | September 21, 2010 2:06 PM

R.I.P.

Posted by Anonymous | September 21, 2010 2:06 PM

RIP

Posted by John Oatess | September 21, 2010 4:10 PM

one of the beastie dudes had coronary on the commode at this fella's house?!?!

Posted by Anonymous | September 21, 2010 4:33 PM

one of the best people to have ever graced this planet.

Posted by chip love | September 21, 2010 4:41 PM

One of the best people I've ever met.

Posted by joly | September 21, 2010 4:58 PM

Please people, respect. RIP. Peace.

Posted by Anonymous | September 21, 2010 8:22 PM

Jerry was the best. Mad props for vision.

Posted by Anonymous | September 21, 2010 11:45 PM

Friend, Mentor and Collaborator. Following a blazing path of kindness and inspiration. Sail On

Posted by Pete Stahl | September 22, 2010 2:02 AM

I want what he's got!

Posted by Christopher Beard | September 22, 2010 3:12 AM

RIP!

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | September 22, 2010 3:49 AM

2:00 pm: Stay in Boise where you belong.

RIP J-Dub.

Posted by Anonymous | September 21, 2010 2:06 PM

You must be from the Lower East Side growing up there in the early 80's right? Nah probably the Upper West or Midtown.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 6:08 AM

Jerry Williams was from North Carolina.

so... this seems like a stupid argument to be having right now.

Posted by nick | September 22, 2010 6:58 AM

One of my favorite people I've ever been around. He will be missed but he did leave alot of recordings for all of us to enjoy behind, so though he is gone, he won't ever be forgotten

Posted by Paul | September 22, 2010 6:48 PM

Adios J Dub. Truly a good man. And a true friend.

Posted by Vicc Fool | September 22, 2010 10:34 PM

JAY DUBS IS TILL WATCHING AND SCHOOLIN , JAY DUBS RUN THINGS THINGS DONT RUN J DUBS - 1 -DJ

Posted by darryl jenifer | September 23, 2010 7:31 PM

RIP Jerry. I can still hear your voice talking to me.

Your words, Darryl, I feel that's truth<

Posted by pascale | September 24, 2010 9:20 AM

Willie was the master of doing NOTHING. "Never worked ONE day for The Man" Scott Jarvis. He NEVER learned how to use a computer, never ate a BITE of meat. He was a Saint, an ancient soul. Sequoia - the Oldest Tree In The Woods. Sail On Willie!!!

Posted by rob k | September 24, 2010 2:54 PM

Jay rocks for light in heaven now

Posted by juerg | September 24, 2010 6:03 PM

'Nuff respect, J-Dubs.

Rest in peace; you will be missed dearly...

Posted by Michael P. | September 25, 2010 11:10 PM

Rest Jerry, you earned it.

Posted by DJ Mojo | September 26, 2010 7:56 PM

No man was kinder, few were wiser, none more generous of spirit than Jerry Williams.

One of the finest human beings I've ever been blessed to know.

Posted by Sean P. | September 26, 2010 9:35 PM

Jerry, I stopped by and saw your brother at your pad this afternoon. We are now taking care of Satan's Fist and Bruiser for you here in Joshua Tree!!! Much Luv and Respect to U!!!

Posted by Robert Morfitt | September 27, 2010 10:54 PM

life's work well done,life's race well run,and now he rests...sail on man of peace.

Posted by Craig Ahead | September 28, 2010 8:59 PM

Thanks for all the respect for my brother, makes it a little easier.

Posted by Tim | September 30, 2010 8:52 PM

on top of it all, he was a sweet person. just always so cool and supportive and genuine. r.i.p., jerry.

Posted by sagey | November 15, 2012 10:18 AM

Word...saint...he took me under his wing in '79, 80..I was 15. He fed me n played music w me. Damn...I never looked him up. Came back to nyc in '00. I don't know. .I've left so many peeps behind. .but now reminded how sweet n special some are. Blessings

Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2014 7:35 AM

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