Hearsay: Wednesday, November 07, 2002
Rock Summit

Thereís a place HearSay likes to visit thatís called Fort Worthwhile. Here, every driver signals before turning, pizza parlors stay open 24 hours a day, their delivery drivers service even the most remote locations of town, and every decent musician or group of musicians makes a respectable living by regularly playing each of the Big Three local venues: the Aardvark, the Ridglea Theater, and the Wreck Room. And 20-spots grow on trees.

This place is all in HearSayís mind, of course. Were this a reality, it could be dangerous, since HearSay only has HearSayís best interests at heart, and they might run counter to your best interests, especially if youíre the pizza delivery guy who has to stay up all night just to satisfy a hungry newspaper columnist. Now, the people from the Big Three who met last week to work on developing synergy among their clubs probably have the citizenryís best interests at heart, but we have to remember that these club owners are business people first, scene supporters second. Naturally, they wonít make a move that doesnít translate into higher bar receipts or a greater control over which artists play where and when. If this synergy works, hereís a worst-case scenario: A local band that pisses off one of the Big Three will have pissed off, essentially, all of the Big Three. Bada-bing, bada-boom, thereís one less band on the scene, and having fewer choices, we can all agree, is bad. Variety is the spice of life ... and shit.

This isnít to say that nothing good came out of the meeting. Danny Weaver (Aardvark, Moon), Wesley Hathaway and Richard Van Zandt (Ridglea), and Brian Forella (Wreck) made it a point to get along. They agreed to pitch in and help put together a spring music festival, on the level of the Fry Street Fair in Denton, and they also conceded to the Weaver gospel that declares that a band canít generate as much interest or excitement playing every other week or so as it can playing about once every month. There had been rumblings for a while over the fact that bands that call the Aardvark home somehow arenít allowed to play the Wreck or the Ridglea. Some folk thought it was pure animosity between club owners, when in reality it was smart business sense. The Big Three will create a tracking system that will allow each Big Three owner and his or her cronies to see which artists are booked at which clubs. That way, a band like Soviet Space wonít be making an appearance at the Aardvark one week after gigging at the Ridglea.

So, a music festival and more harmony with less rumormongering between movers and shakers. It could turn out to be Fort Worthwhile, after all. Bring on the pizza.

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