Troubled Houston music venue the Meridian announced Tuesday that after a turbulent year of management changes, show cancellations and allegations of everything from unpaid utility bills to unpaid rent, it has officially shut down.
"The Meridian Houston now as of 12/21/10 is now CLOSED!," the club announced on its Facebook page. "Thank for your Patronage, I was a long crazy Ride."
The only additional information on the page came from a couple of comments left by the page's proprietor: One said the Chinatown venue at 1503 Chartres "got a week left"; the other that it was closing for "lots of reasons."
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As far as Rocks Off knows, no one has seen or heard from Meridian owner Gary Katz - we certainly haven't - since the most recent round of trouble at the club, when David Allan Coe's agent told us that Meridian employees (who quit soon after) told the outlaw singer they were unable to pay his band for their scheduled December 3 show; the power at the venue had also been cut off. Coe has rescheduled for March 26 at Numbers.
Then there was the whole Wu-Tang Clan snafu, when the Staten Island rap group's show was pulled out of Meridian and moved to Numbers. The show went off without a hitch, but left many people who had bought tickets for the Meridian date (which were non-transferable) high and dry and with little hope of a refund.
An agent for Philadelphia-based ticketing company Ticketleap told Rocks Off the money from the Wu-Tang Meridian sales had already been transferred into Katz's account.
Last we heard, former publicist and journalist Jerroy Germaine had leased the club from Katz and was planning to reopen as The Capitol on New Year's Eve. Rocks Off called Jermaine this morning; our call went straight to voicemail, and the mailbox was full, a familiar occurence in this strange and sad saga.