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Knock on Wood

How an old toolshed became a hippie haven

The noise-tolerance levels of the Compound's neighbors have likewise probably reached their limit, Nelson adds, but he still thinks the converted woodshop will "evolve into the next thing it's supposed to be."

Whatever that is. It might be the quieter but no less artistic brainchild of Austin Vernon and Mark Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux, Production Manager for Opera in the Heights, lives in the western garage apartment and has used the Lounge for post-show cast parties. He and Vernon want to open the space for people to use as a studio for any type of art.

Thibodeaux has already arranged to paint set pieces in the Lounge during the Opera's upcoming season. He's considering changing its name to Mr. Pickle's Workshop, in honor of its architect and hopeful future function as a creative workplace.

Zilla's Jamie Janover, a frequent Jellyphish performer.
Dave Nelson
Zilla's Jamie Janover, a frequent Jellyphish performer.
Jellyphish Lounge: From woodworking to jam bands.
August West
Jellyphish Lounge: From woodworking to jam bands.

"There's no way I'm gonna live here and let it just sit there and rot," Thibodeaux vows. "It already has a life of its own. As an artist, I feel obligated to make sure it's being used."

All proceeds from Jellyphish shows went straight to the bands, and every guest or musician who visited the Lounge felt a deep appreciation for Nelson and West's generosity.

"They're all about the love, and that's the way to be," offers Janover.

And now, though Nelson and West have moved on, perhaps that vibe will remain somewhere in the old woodshop's walls and floorboards.

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