Zippah Recording Studios the site of massive eight-alarm fire in Brighton

Photo Credit: Boston Fire Department

UPDATE II: The GoFundMe has raised more than $120,000 in less than 48 hours, with more than 900 donors chipping in.

“I’m overwhelmed with feelings of love and gratitude for the support that you all have so generously provided me,” writes Brian Charles on the fundraiser page. “I’m devastated about this loss, but you’re all giving me hope right now, and that feels miraculous. Words can not express the love I have for this incredible community. My family and I are truly grateful for you all.”


UPDATE I: A GoFundMe has been created to help Brian Charles and Zippah Recording Studios, with an initial target goal of $50,000. The note by organizers Lisa Traxler and David Charles reveals that the “actual damages” from today’s fire far exceed the goal amount.

They write: “The unique instruments and all of the recording equipment at Zippah are likely destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Many vintage and one-of-a-kind items resided within the walls of Zippah, a collection that Brian curated over a lifetime of creating beloved recordings. In addition to being a heartbreaking and crushing event emotionally, this fire has created a massive financial burden for Brian and his family. His primary income came from the studio. It will be very hard to recover from this tragedy, and the road ahead will be difficult. We’d like to help him begin on that journey as quickly as possible. If you can help in any way, we hope you may do so. Thank you for your kindness and consideration.”


A massive, eight-alarm fire ripped through a building located at 185 Corey Road in Brighton early Friday morning (December 17). The site, located on the Brookline border, is the home of Zippah Recording, a well-known and respected music recording studio owned and operated by producer/engineer Brian Charles. Below are images from the scene, tweeted by the Boston Fire Department.

Charles, who is also a member of Boston alt-rock band The Sheila Divine, posted to Facebook that he is safe but “devastated.” Just last week, Charles took to Instagram to show off the newly renovated and expanded studio space.

The Corey Road building is also the former site of Music Maker Studios.

NBC10 reports that the fire broke out around 4:30 a.m., and one firefighter was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries: “The fire spread through multiple floors and erupted from the roof of the former music school at 185 Corey Road… Crews opened the roof of the building to help ventilate the thick smoke. The flames intensified shortly after. Heavy black smoke permeated the neighborhood by shortly after 5 a.m., the fire department said. All firefighters were ordered to evacuate the building and get off the roof as they dealt with ‘zero visibility’ due to a shifting wind. The wind was gusting around 25 to 30 mph in Boston Friday morning.”

As word of the fire spread, many around the Boston music community took to social media to share concern for Charles and his beloved studio, which had been in operation for three decades and under Charles’ ownership and guidance since 2003.

“Still processing what this all means,” tweeted Charles’ Sheila Divine bandmate Aaron Perrino. “Feel so helpless and sad for my best friend. A lifetime of work and dedication gone in a flash.”

“We are so saddened, so many songs and EP’s recorded here over so many years,” remarked Kid Gulliver. “We are thankful that Brian was not harmed.”

Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo tweeted: “This is tragic. I’m crushed for Brian, his whole staff and the magnitude of this loss. Fuck.”

Nick Grieco of Actor Observer and Emo Night Boston added: “Absolutely gutted by the loss of one of the greatest studios in the country. An incalculable devastation to this city’s music scene.”

We’ll post more information as it becomes available, and pass along any word of fundraising efforts to help reestablish the studio.

This is a developing story…