New York City and followers of the indie-music scene are mourning the tragic death of drummer Gerhardt “Jerry” Fuchs, who died on Sunday from a five-story fall down an elevator shaft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. While riding in a manual freight elevator during a benefit party, the elevator got stuck between the fourth and fifth floors. A passenger riding with Fuchs had managed to jump to the fourth floor, but on one of Fuchs’ attempts to jump to the fifth floor, his clothing caught on something in the passageway and he fell to the bottom of the elevator shaft.
Alex Frankel, Fuchs’ roommate and singer of the band Holy Ghost!, of which Fuchs was the drummer, arrived at the party shortly before 1AM to find the distressing news that someone had fallen down the elevator shaft.
“We flipped him over and it was Jerry,” he said. “When we found him he was not able to talk.”
Although authorities are continuing to investigate the exact details involved in this tragic event, police have ruled that there is no “suspected criminality” and that the death is the result of accidental circumstances.
Fuchs has long been a staple of the indie-music scene since he moved from Georgia to New York in 1995 and began making music with the band Vineland. His career expanded to such endeavors as a key member of Turing Machine, The Juan MacLean, !!! (pronounced “chk-chk-chk”), Holy Ghost!, and Maserati. More recently, he performed with the electronic band MSTRKRFT during live performance on Late Night with David Letterman.
James Murphy, of LCD Soundsystem, claimed that Fuchs was one of the greatest drummers he had ever heard.
“He was one of the only people we all knew who was literally great at what he did… And he was incredibly generous with his talent.”