By Radim McCue Published November 11, 2009
Gerhardt “Jerry” Fuchs, beloved and respected drummer for The Juan MacLean, Holy Ghost!, Maserati, !!!, and Turing Machine, amongst others, passed away in the early hours on Sunday, November 8th due to an unfortunate elevator accident that occurred in a Brooklyn loft building. He was pronounced dead at Bellevue Medical Center, a few hours later. According to the New York Post, Fuchs was attending a fundraiser and the freight elevator he was using stopped above the fifth floor. He and a friend tried to jump to the floor but a piece of Fuch's clothing caught and he was pulled back into the elevator shaft.
Jerry was born on December 30, 1974 in Marietta, Georgia. After attending the University of Georgia for graphic design, he left for New York in 1995 to join the band Vineland. His achievements were numerous as he became a New York fixture in the music scene, providing incredibly complex and energetic drumbeats that elicited wide praise and excitement from fellow musicians, critics and friends. On the rare occasion that he was not touring, Jerry did graphic design work for publications such as Chunklet and Entertainment Weekly. Throughout all of his endeavors and successes, Jerry remained one of the most humble and down-to-earth artists anyone could meet. His smile, and loving energy will be missed dearly, as will his talent and contributions to the music scene. Jerry’s family and friends request that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.
Statements from Jerry’s band mates, manager and DFA Records are below.
Juan MacLean Jerry Fuchs was one of my best and most loyal friends. In other situations it might seem trite or misguided to mention someone's music career in light of such a tragic death, but the truth is that music was an integral part of our relationship. Jerry was with me from the beginning of The Juan MacLean. The band allowed us to travel the world doing something we loved more than anything, and we constantly reminded ourselves how lucky we were, pushing each other to appreciate the life we were living when things got tough. It is not hyperbole to say that Jerry was the absolute best at what he did. He was a legendary drummer. Other drummers revered him and fans were astounded by his playing. He was always the best part of any band of his which he was a member. And in light of all that, he was relentlessly humble to the point of self-deprecation. He exuded qualities that are are rare in the circles he travelled. He was disarmingly sincere and valued honesty above all else.
I have never played with anyone as great as Jerry. I would be hard pressed to name a more supportive and loyal friend. I hope his family finds some bit of solace in the fact that Jerry touched the lives of so many all across the world, as evidenced by the outpouring of support and condolences come flooding in.
Jonathan Galkin – DFA Today was a really bad day, Jerry, and I could have used one of those big sweaty hugs you gave after a show, when you were genuinely excited and surprised to see me. “Galkin, what the fuck are YOU doing here?!”, you would exclaim, as if i didn’t ever attend the live shows from bands on my own label. You were truly one of a kind, and whether you knew it or not, people wanted to be in the same room as you, or near the same room as you, because maybe just maybe, some of that radiant joy and in-the-moment spirit you exuded would rub off on them. You didn’t take it all with you, because there are a lot of people today who are going to feel mighty responsible to carry and spread that joy with them for the rest of the time they have here. And who knows now how long that might be. You were a really good drummer, some might say the best we had, but you were a greater friend. I love you and miss you, Jerry.
Brian Long - Yes Know Management Jerry cast an incredible glow on every situation he entered into. It was an honor to work with him. His drumming skills were truly a gift which he used to connect with many people. This is what musicians are put on earth to do. Jerry embodied this to the fullest. He will be missed but remembered with a smile and a laugh.