Chelsea Hotel

Chelsea Hotel

 Conroe, Texas, USA

Chelsea Hotel is too punk to be rock, and too rock to be punk. In their home town, they are tagged as Pub Punk, the kind of band that makes you want to grab a beer and sing along. Even when you hear a new song, you pick it up immediately; like an anthem for the best care-free nights of your life.


The story of Chelsea Hotel is really the story of Robert Conn (Pagans, Defnics, Plague). At time when radio was dominated by disco and rock ballads, the underbelly of the Cleveland, OH music scene set a course to bring rock & roll back from the dead. While New York was getting ready to take the world by surprise with the Ramones and Talking Heads, Conn and others were already actively testing the waters. Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys were putting the Cleveland scene on center stage for the world to hear. At this time Conn penned the first single for the Pagans, a rebellious sneer at all that was decent, the infamous “Six and Change” single, guaranteed not to be heard on any rock station, but soon a staple of the underground and college radio community.

While on hiatus from the Pagans, the first of many break-ups for the band, Conn continued to thumb his nose at established conceptions. Soon he took center stage as front man for the Defnics, releasing an arsenal of self produced singles and contributing to various compilations, most notably on the Cleveland-based Terminal Records. For any punk coinsure, the choice 7” of the day being the “51%” / “Hello from Berlin” 45. Other appearances included the legendary Killed by Death series (Vol. 3 - “51%”) and Cleveland Confidential (“Suicide Trip”).

But, almost as a homage to the volatility of the music itself, the Defnics parted ways and soon Conn returned to work with the reorganized Pagans. Singles and albums continued reinforcing the Cleveland stereotype, rock & roll was alive and well in the underbelly of America. The Pagans unique, agitated and angst ridden sound produced the quant essential punk record The Pink Album. All was right in the world for those that loved pure guitar-driven music that took rock & roll to the brink of insanity and held it there for a time, shaking the living day lights out of it.

Enough of what Conn did, now it’s about what he is doing today. After relocating to Houston, TX, Conn decided that it was time to get back to work. New material was written, a new band forged from the natives of Space City, and soon came his first release in 12 years, Do It Again (2004). Conn, along with Jewels on bass quickly made a point to have Chelsea Hotel established as the rock & roll band to have in a bar. For Jewels it was an adventure, for Conn it was a return back to his roots, small crowded venues wreaking of smoke and old beer, the place where rock & roll was still king. Over the next 5 years and numerous personnel changes, Conn and Jewels perfected the sound of the band, leading to the surge that started in 2009.

The first kick happened when native Cleveland, OH guitarist Curtis W. DeGidio relocated to Houston via Nashville, TN. Having long been associated with Conn and Jewels, Curtis was the natural choice to replace Max Gotlieb (Chelsea Hotel, Junkyard, Max and the Make-ups) on second guitar. The dual six-string assault became a standard Chelsea Hotel affair, leaving audiences begging for more. While Conn leads the band, DeGidio sets the attitude, crawling on his knees, guitar pushed into the faces of the crowd, instigating anybody to challenge their sonic assault.

In 2010, after a Spinal Tap like rotation of drummers following the departure of Billy “The Kid” on drums, Houston drummer Andy Chaos moved in behind the kit. If Conn, DeGidio, and Jewels are the attitude, Chaos is the voodoo witch doctor pounding beats with a primal fury in attempts to wake the dead.

With the line-up of Chelsea Hotel finally reaching a state of solidity and a new drive for original material, Chelsea Hotel will be welcoming in 2011 with their yet to be titled second album. With enough material for two albums it may be possible that next year sees a release of two albums, in addition to a planned compilation the will serve as a retrospective of Conn’s career as well as a DVD documenting Chelsea Hotel with rare live recordings, interviews, and video journals. If 2010 is the year of Rabbit, 2011 will be the year of Chelsea Hotel.


Do It Again (2004) Bully Boy Records / CD Baby

Set List

Set List Varies, Common Songs Include:
Not Now, No Way; 51%; Worth More Than You Say; Final Solution; Don't Touch; Serial Killer; Wasted; Do It Again; Stop Breakin' My Balls; That Pig Won't Fly; What's This Shit Called Love?; Tell Me; Angela; TCBY (It Shouldn't Be That Way); Look at Me Mom, I'm Not Dead; Her Name Was Jane; Tango; Six and Change; Avenue A

New material is constantly being added, this list is only a guide to common songs that appear in most sets.