The Pocket JamBnB Suite

Blog

Opening something like this has been a dream for a while now. I’m not much of a blogger but J Charney (NOT the former White House Press Secretary) and Tommy “boy” Brinson two of my pals who know how to get web hits, told me to write a blog- so i’m writing the damned thing.


Out in LA we used to jam into the night after going out on the town or playing shows. Going back even further, in highschool, I would have friends over to jam in my parents’ basement. Fast forward to STL, 2016, I saw an opportunity to be a kid again. Only I knew I needed to make money doing it. So my dream is to be a kid again- and make money doing it.


One day in 2016 my buddy, Seth Holloway pointed out this ragged old building and told me that I should buy it. So I jumped on it! I called the owner because it wasn’t listed with an agent. Then she called the agent and the agent called me and said “I’m an agent and it’s listed with me”. And I said, “wait..uh, no it’s not”. And he said, “check again”. so I checked and there it was… listed. But I wasn’t really worried because it wasn’t the type of listing that had buyers flocking to it. It had been listed, price lowered, pulled off the MLS, relisted, price lowered and pulled off.


This was a unique building. It was rented to musicians as rehearsal spaces. And nobody wanted to touch it!


One year later, the negotiations turned into a sale, which I barely closed while hanging with my brother-in-law, Gags, at a coffee shop in NYC. I had been crunching numbers for a whole year, running everything through my spreadsheet that my Dad built for rental properties. I KNEW my numbers. And I had a plan.


I figured the rehearsal spaces would keep me going until I could build-out a residential unit. AirBnb had been picking up pace and I figured it would work well for my model. Why? Because musicians have been getting their gear stolen in St. Louis probably since Chuck Berry famously ate a sandwich while being intimate with a lady friend (someone walked in on him btw, and he said “can’t you see i’m eating a sandwich!”) ....Musicians need a safe place to keep their gear. I’ve heard of gear bandits following bands back to hotels, and then robbing their stuff once they fall asleep. We can’t have that crap. That turns folks off. And we have a beautiful musical history to defend.


Additionally, musicians need a place to rehearse before their gigs and a place to play late into the evening. So do fans. Neighbors are getting tired of hitting their ceilings with the end of their wooden broom handles. It’s nonsense that a musical person would stay anywhere other than a place that welcomes their playing music. That’s like a person that breathes air staying somewhere that doesn’t have air! We need a place for musicians to stay and play.


I’ve always admired and been fascinated by Conrad Hilton. He was the king of hospitality. So there was that bug- mixed with the music bug. And that is how The Pocket came about. I’m excited to see how it goes! If I could have half the success Conrad Hilton had I’d be richer than shit! But it’s really not about money… in this case, it’s about being a kid again...and making money to continue being a kid again.



Inspiration from Necessity

The inspriration for this place came from a problem that I, in some ways, encountered personally: touring bands and fans deserve a better solution when traveling.  Their needs are not being met when they have to worry about their gear getting stolen in the parking lot outside of the hotel, which, in many cases is miles away from the venue or studio. Their needs are not being met when they don’t have a place to rehearse before the show or studio session, or in the case of fans- a place to freely jam into the night.

I started to understand this problem back in 2007, while in LA.  All of us in the St. Louis crew out there would get together for late night jam sessions after seeing a show or going out on the town.  In that experience, we learned that, in our house, that meant walking on pins and needles to keep the neighbor happy.  Eventually we found ourselves in the furthest side of the house from the neighbor, crammed in a 80 square foot “bedroom”, where the drum kit was located.  There might be 15 people crammed into that room in a given night with overflow standing in the hallway, shaking whatever noisemakers they could find.  We prevailed however, and had our “jam room”.  It was my room and I gladly accommodated because I loved how it brought everyone together.  Today, I hope that The Pocket will accommodate musical travelers with a sweet spot to rest their head and play some tunes!

Dan White