Gerard McNamee

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Gerard McNamee Jr.
Born1969 (age 53–54)
EducationFordham University
Occupation(s)Actor, firector, musician, art curator
Known forFormer Director of Webster Hall

Gerard McNamee Jr. (born 1969) is an American actor, singer, art curator, producer, and director. He was the director of operations of New York City's Webster Hall and the curator of the venue's Quarterly Art Soirée.

Early life and career[edit]

The eldest of five children, McNamee was born to Helen Scales and Gerard McNamee, an NYC transit police (NYPD) officer. He was educated at Our Lady of Mercy Grammar School in Hicksville, Long Island and St. Mary's Boy's Preparatory High School in Manhasset, Long Island. As the son of Irish immigrants, he was raised on traditional Irish and country music and would later be influenced by the music of The Clash, The Rolling Stones, and The Pogues. McNamee began an early DJ career after his introduction to a family friend's music rig and six-inch-high plywood riser. McNamee would purchase a DJ deck of his own and begin producing block parties and neighborhood events.[1] After graduating from Fordham University, Rose Hill with his BS in Business Administration, McNamee was hired as the Director of Operations of Webster Hall. In May 1997, McNamee left Webster Hall to pursue his own business ventures. He purchased a bar in Hunter Mountain, named SixMileCross in homage to his father's hometown in Northern Ireland. Over the next several years, he would open additional locations of "The Cross" in Montauk, Long Island, and City Island, Bronx, New York.

Responding to the 1998 terrorist bombing in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, where he has traveled to his entire life, McNamee penned "A Moment of Silence" in honor of the victims.[2]

Webster Hall[edit]

Following his graduation from Fordham University, McNamee replied to a classified advertisement in The New York Times that read "Night Club Manager Wanted, 40,000 square feet of adventure... 5 years New York City experience necessary... Fax Resume." McNamee's experience had been in operating and booking bands and DJs at the Bronx River Yacht Club. He was hired by Lon, Steve, and Doug Ballinger in January 1993 to run the legendary and world-famous Webster Hall. During his tenure as Director of the venue, McNamee hosted a multitude of stars. In 1997 McNamee left Webster Hall to pursue a business and acting career. McNamee returned to the venue in 2008. During this period, the club would attain recognition as the number one nightclub in New York City. According to Pollstar Magazine, as of August 1, 2016, Webster Hall was the #1 Club Venue in New York by concert ticket sales and #2 in the world.[3]

Artists who performed during McNamee's tenure include:

Metallica Tame Impala The B-52's The Mighty Mighty Boss Tones
Kings of Leon Green Day Diplo Chance the Rapper
Madonna Patti Smith The Killers Zeds Dead
President Bill Clinton Vampire Weekend Waka Flocka Flame Chromeo
Tom Petty Lady Gaga Faith No More Wiz Khalifa
Paul Simon Axl Rose Nate Ruess Vance Joy
Skrillex Tiësto Muse Lenny Kravitz
Noel Gallagher Arctic Monkeys Jessie J Snoop Dogg
Liam Gallagher Nine Inch Nails The Brian Jonestown Massacre
White Stripes Paul Simon The Wombats

Following a concert in 2008, McNamee met art curator Jenny Mushkin-Goldman with whom he would found The Quarterly Art Soirée to restore Webster Hall's history of presenting classical arts, charity benefits, and emerging artists in the spirit of Marcel Duchamp.[4]

In July 2017, McNamee officially announced via Facebook post that Webster Hall's historical home had been purchased by Brooklyn Sports Entertainment, a unit of Anschutz Entertainment Group known as AEG, with a planned three-year closure to allow for updating and futureproofing of the building's infrastructure.[citation needed] Former venue staff, including McNamee, honored the history of the hall through the "end of an era" concert series featuring Michelle Branch, Good Charlotte, Action Bronson, Skrillex, and Nine Inch Nails.[citation needed]

Acting career[edit]

McNamee is a member of SAG-AFTRA and has acted in co-starring roles on The USA Network's White Collar, Fox's The Following, Netflix's The Get Down and indie films Hip Priest, and A Killing Day.[citation needed] In 2017/2018 he featured in Volkswagen's national ad campaign for the 2018 Atlas SAE called America, set to the soundtrack "America" by Simon & Garfunkel.[5]

During the making of a documentary on Webster Hall's history, McNamee met with film director Gregg De Domenico who would write and shoot the short film Hip Priest for him.[6] In an interview with the New York Daily News, De Domenico was quoted saying "[McNamee] has a James Dean, old-world movie-star presence.” Hip Priest premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre as part of the Holly Shorts Film Festival and showed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. McNamee began moonlighting as an actor while continuing his duties as curator, spokesman, and director.

Over the years, McNamee has been featured as a singer at the Our Land Festival at Lincoln Center and at Joe Hurley's Irish Rock Revue at Joe's Pub at the Public Theatre, Highline Ballroom, and Soho House in New York City.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1994, McNamee's brother, Brian, died in a tragic fire in Burlington, Vermont. McNamee maintains a close relationship with his parents, Gerard Sr and Helen, his sisters, Eileen and Mary Clare, and their children, Ruadhan, Noah, and Emilia.[8]


  1. ^ "Webster Hall's GM Gerard McNamee Tells His Origin Story". BlackBook Mag. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Brenda to stir Angela's 'Ashes'?". Irish Echo. Irish Echo. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Pollstar 2016 Year End Worldwide Ticket Sales | Club Venues" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  4. ^ "A Soiree With The Arts In Mind". Local East Village. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  5. ^ Coffee, Patrick (1 May 2017). "Volkswagen Looks for America, With Help From Simon & Garfunkel, in This Poetic Cross-Country Trip". Ad Week. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  6. ^ "HIP PRIEST: Inspired by a Photograph". RED HOT-SOCIETY. Red Hot Society. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  7. ^ Ashe, Mark (14 March 2017). "Joe Hurley's Annual Irish All Star Rock Revue | Live Music News & Review". Live Music News & Review. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  8. ^ "Gerard McNamee on acting, singing, flirting with Madonna, hanging with the Clintons, and his Irish parents". 30 May 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2021.

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