Historic San Francisco recording studio ineligible for COVID-19 relief in danger of closing

The historic Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco faces an uncertain future because of the shelter in place order. 

Musicians have canceled all recording sessions there for three months. The studio manager Jack Kertzman said they are the main source of income, gone indefinitely and he's now turning to the public for support.

Tucked in the Tenderloin neighborhood, it's been a place for artists to make music since 1969.

"This is Jerry Garcia, David Crosby, Phil Lesh and Neil Young-all jamming in this room,"said Kertzman pointing to a photo in the studio.

The studios is a living piece of history for all genres of music, spanning generations.

"I have to pinch myself once in while thinking about the records that were made in these rooms: Grateful Dead to Santana," said Kertzman, "This is the single from the 'Humpty Dance' from Digital Underground."

He shows off the space. "That would be where the engineer would be. The artists, musicians would set up in here," said Kertzman as he pointed out the function of each area. 

Lesser known bands such as Oakland's Why These Coyotes is among the many local artists who recorded here.

San Francisco songwriter Byron Mayhew record his song "Immune" here.  But the studio is "not immune" to Covid-19 concerns.  Cancellations of recording sessions has brought on the deafening sound of silence.

"It was a tough pill to swallow to be in this situation," said Kertzman.

He started a Gofundme account that has raised $20,000 of the $42,000 needed to pay rent and utilities, with a video featuring recording artists such as Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind.

"Coming to you from San Francisco shelter in place. I'm here right now in support with Hyde Street Studios. So many of our records have been recorded there," said Jenkins. 

Chloe Jean, another San Francisco artist, sang her support with her rendition of "You've Got a Friend."

Kertzman said Hyde Street Studios has tried to get government assistance, but hasn't had any luck. 

He is optimistic that love and support for music being produced here locally will help the studio survive.