(Entertainment Weekly) – Thirty-four-year-old Gerhardt “Jerry” Fuchs, a beloved fixture of both the New York and Athens, Georgia, rock scenes who played with LCD Soundsystem, !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk), Turing Machine, MSTRKRFT, and The Juan MacLean, died Saturday night in a fall after attempting to crawl out of a broken elevator shaft at a benefit party in Brooklyn.
Fuchs, who also freelanced at Entertainment Weekly, was a house drummer of sorts for progressive record label DFA, as well as a member of long-running Athens post-rock outfit Maserati (sadly, he had replaced original Maserati drummer Mikel Gius, also the original drummer for !!!, who died in a bike accident in 2005).
On the Juan MacLean Web site, MacLean wrote: “Jerry was one of my best and most loyal friends. He was hands-down the best drummer I have ever played with or seen for that matter … He was utterly sincere and fiercely loyal.”
According to The New York Times, the accident occurred at about 12:30 a.m. on November 8, when Fuchs became stuck on a freight elevator between the fourth and fifth floors. When he attempted to jump out of the stalled car, his jacket got caught and threw him back towards the elevator shaft, while another unidentified man in the car with him leaped safely to a fourth-floor hallway.
At a gathering for Fuchs’ friends on Sunday night, LCD frontman James Murphy called him “one of the only people we all knew who was literally great at what he did.”
And longtime friend Jon Fine noted, “He could play metal, prog rock with multiple time signatures, aggressive indie disco. … His passing puts an enormous hold on the Brooklyn music scene. The world of independent music has sustained a really significant loss.”
**UPDATE** WITNESS WATCHED DRUMMER PLUNGE TO HIS DEATH
(NYDailyNews) – He was a witness to tragedy – and it’s left him shaken.
A photographer trapped in the same stalled Williamsburg elevator with doomed drummer Gerhardt “Jerry” Fuchs recalled yesterday watching the man plunge to his death.
“I tried to reach out for him,” Stephen Alessi said yesterday. “I was too far and it happened so fast, in a split second.”
Fuchs’ hoodie somehow got snagged on the elevator as he and Alessi, 24, jumped out of it. The 34-year-old indie rocker, who drummed for the band Maserati and other rock groups, fell about 50 feet to the bottom of the shaft.
Alessi said he did not know Fuchs but that they were both heading up to the same party on the top floor of 338 Berry St.
The freight elevator they took jerked to a halt between the fifth and sixth floors.