Monday, February 04, 2008

Live Nation is no Dan Snyder

Awhile back I unknowingly had my email addresses added to the distribution list for a petition set up by IFI Music, an organization whose primary goal would appear to be preventing Live Nation from opening the Fillmore in Silver Spring. After I started getting the same email over and over again from dozens of people, I eventually just filtered them out. On a whim, I happened to read a few of the old emails for kicks, and came across the petition submitted by Ken Wingate, the founder and president of IFI. (He's on "The MySpace".)

Amazingly, he put forward Dan Snyder as an example of successful local ownership!!!!

Consider Daniel Snyder, the local boy done good, that fought for the chance to own the Washington Redskins. He had to pull all of his resources together to come up with the finances to make the NFL feel comfortable enough to accept his offer. Now he owns the richest and most financially successful NFL team in the whole league. You cannot nor should you ever close any doors that might allow that same success story to be built and established here in the Montgomery County music community. [Emphasis mine.]
This is the same Daniel M. Snyder who has run the once-proud Redskins franchise into the ground, a couple back door playoff berths notwithstanding. The same Daniel M. Snyder whose Six Flags has tanked since he bought it. The Redskins were a lot better off when they were owned by Jack Kent Cooke - a Canadian. Local does not mean good - it only means they live nearby.

Would they be okay with any owner provided they were local, even if they didn't know the first thing about running a music club? Maybe they should approach Dan Snyder as a potential owner. Vinnie Cerrato could book the acts. They'd pay huge appearance fees to has-been acts and charge everyone $100+ admission... for obstructed view seats at the back of the theater. If they had one popular act, they'd immediately raise ticket prices for the next show. Parking would be $30 and be in South Silver Spring. You would not be able to use public streets to walk from there to the theater. I could go on.


Anonymous said...

Interesting comparison. I would say Seth Hurwitz is more of a Bill Graham (creator of the original Fillmore) than Live Nation will ever be. Live Nation is more like Wal-Mart, gobbling up nightclubs, amphitheaters, and stadiums around the world and raising the prices by out-bidding smaller promoters.

Thayer Avenue said...

I am so glad you posted that link to his MySpace page. This was the guy standing in line at the AFI town hall meeting (complete with IFI shirt). And it looks like my assessment of him (assuming he runs wasn't far off.

According to his profile, he's a songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and bassist whose influences include:

"John Denver, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Dan Folgerberg, Dixie Dregs, Phil Keaggy, Barry Manilow, Poco, Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheny, the Beatles, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Fleetwood Mac, Shania Twain, The Police, America, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Bread, Bruce Cockburn, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Mason, Dave Matthews Band, Eric Clapton, Firefall, Harry Chapin, J.D. Souther, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Joe Walsh, Kenny Loggins, Mark heard, Neil Young, Peter Frampton, Sarah McLachlan, Supertramp, Toto, U2, Van Morrison and more I am sure."

No wonder this guy wants The Birchmere. Most of his musical idols are as old as he is. Or dead. I would have killed to see The Carpenters or The Mamas & the Papas on that list, though.

I'll take "Bands From the 21st Century" for $1,000, Alex.

b said...

thayer avenue. Don't forget that Ozzie Osborne pre-dates some of those artists. I bought Black Sabbath when it was released, Feb.13th 1970. On a Friday if I'm not mistaken. Ozzie would be great on $5.00 martini night, as long as you don't want it stired. Rob Zombie is still evil though.

Thayer Avenue said...

Awww, yeah. Paranoid and Heaven and Hell were two of favorite albums growing up.

Don't get me wrong - I love a lot of those bands. My (musically) formative years in middle and high school were spent listening to Rush, Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, etc. And I still think that Zeppelin could be the best R&R band of all time. But I also find plenty of inspiration from more contemporary acts like Tool, The Killers, Postal Service, Death Cab, and even newer folk artists like Neko Case, Rufus Wainwright and Patti Griffin.

I just think that being stuck in a 60s and 70s artist mindset can be limiting to people in the music business.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that I will never see a show at Live Nation because I don't follow the musical acts that typically play there.

in the mean time, I will continue to hang out at the 9:30 Club, Black Cat and Rock & Roll Hotel.


Anonymous said...

I keep thinking of the scene in Animal House where Belushi comes down the staircase and smashes the guitar of that 'singer/songwriter'.