Da Mare's Musical Mark?
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on May 13, 2011 4:07PM
As Mayor Richard Daley wraps up his reign over the city let's take a moment to see what he's contributed to the music scene. Hm. Well, Lollapalooza did pop up under his watch and some, including us, think that's basically a good thing, though it could be vastly improved upon. He destroyed Meigs Field in the middle of the night and that eventually became a music venue, even if no one is "officially" controlling it at the moment. The Taste of Chicago went from a showcase of terrific music -- The Replacements broke up on stage! -- to becoming a showcase of groups that probably draw poorly at county fairs. Daley gutted the Department of Cultural Affairs leading to the layoff of Michael Orlove, responsible for World Music Fest, Summerdance, the Downtown Sound series and the other free concerts at Millennium Park, as well as the eventual culling Lois Weisberg, the prime force behind all things cultural in the city over the last two decades.
Oh! And let's not forget Daley's war on local promoters, instead fighting for the rights of folks with deeper pockets more interested in turning a buck than in showcasing interesting, challenging or up-and-coming, musical talent.
In the end it appears as if Daley was more interested in special interests and making the city money at the expense of broadening it's musical footprint in any but the most garish of ways.
So what do you think? Are we being unfairly one-sided? Can you think of examples of Daley actually helping the music scene in any fundamental ways that didn't include fattening friend's pocketbooks? What do you think of the Mayor's legacy as it pertains to the city's music scene?