The Magic Shop recording studio in SoHo has been a haven for famous and unknown artists alike for nearly 30 years. But now, the recording studio is getting ready to close-up-shop at the end of the month. Its final recording session is scheduled for Wednesday. NY1's Arts and Culture reporter Stephanie Simon has the story.
With no sign or awning, it is hard to believe 49 Crosby Street has become a major tourist attraction.
"We get tourists every day," said Steve Rosenthal, founder and owner of The Magic Shop. "There were a number from Italy there this morning."
And it is not because of the recent news that this SoHo recording studio is closing. It is the episode of the Foo Fighters' HBO series "Sonic Highways" that featured The Magic Shop, and a song Dave Grohl wrote in honor of the small studio.
Handwritten lyrics are a prized memento Rosenthal will be taking with him when he closes at the end of the month.
Rosenthal said he cannot discuss specifics details, but despite efforts by Grohl to help him purchase the space, gentrification in the neighborhood is forcing him out after 28 years.
"Dave is an incredible dude. He is really just the way he is," Rosenthal said. "He's so straight ahead, so honest."
Steve has great memories of so many musicians he has worked with: Suzanne Vega, Joey Ramone, Counting Crows, Norah Jones and Coldplay.
"So they took one of my tables and they used to sit outside. Literally, Chris and the band would sit outside in front of the studio and eat lunch," Rosenthal said.
That's been the magic of the Magic Shop – creating a place where musicians can be themselves.
One microphone in the studio costs around $35,000. But what makes it priceless is all of the amazing musicians who have sung into it.
David Bowie recorded "Black Star" here just before he passed away in early January.
"How he took them from these demos to these completed songs, kind of just watching his mind work towards that is just unbelievable," said Kabir Hermon, The Magic Shop’s chief engineer.
Rosenthal plans to continue his work preserving and remastering older music at a new location. He does not plan to reopen the recording studio. His last plea to clients? Keep making great music.
"And let's get your tapes out of here," Rosenthal said.