REFLECTING ON "THE LIST"

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Now, that two weeks have passed since we published that music "powerbrokers" list, we've had time to digest some of the comments and criticisms that have come our way. The thing to keep in mind is that it was just a list -- a list compiled by a few people who are certainly fallible and far from all knowing. As was stated in the introduction to the original piece, there were going to be names that totally missed our radar for one reason or another...perhaps a few of those reasons having to do with too many damaged brain cells over the years...especially after some of those names were presented to us. We heard from publicists. Hell, we even heard from a few people themselves who thought they deserved to be on the list and wondered why they weren't...and a few of those people were right! So let's mention a few. I'll also use this space to add a clarification to the original piece as well. The bottom line or the point to any list of this nature, though, is to inspire others to make their own lists...so I'll agree with all the names suggested in the comments section of the story itself (and, hey, send me some frickin' story pitches, Hobey!) and add a few of the following to what was already a very long list:

A big omission was Scott Hamilton, who runs Small Stone Records, one of the largest independent record labels in the state of Michigan and a label that's been Detroit based since its 1995 inception. The label's worked with numerous Detroit artists as well as bands from all over the world. The label's music has been in popular video games, movies, and TV shows. On top of that, until recently, Hamilton worked at Live Nation as a PA, clocking in well over 100-plus shows year to make ends meet while getting the label off the ground. So that was a a name that should've definitely been on the list.

Speaking of Live Nation (the Detroit branch of which was listed as one entry), although we named three of the honchos in the Detroit office, we neglected to mention club booker Josh Newman. We've worked with all three of the names -- Dave Clark, Dianna Frank and Rick Franks -- that ended up being listed and weren't informed that Josh was based here (unlike the others, he doesn't seem to work with the press as much...or at least we've never had to contact him for our needs), so our apologies. It was something off our radar and certainly not intentional or meant to ruffle feathers.

Kim Paris
, who runs Sinister Foxy Productions in NYC (after moving it there from Detroit a year or so ago), books national tours for some of Detroit's best rock bands, along with bands from around the country and world, including the Go, Freer (who recently broke up), Mick Bassett & the Marthas, the Questions, Hotness, Johnny Mundane & the Sweetspots, Troy Gregory and the Stepsisters. She's currently booking two national tours for Starling Electric. So, sorry about that, Kim. Out of sight, out of mind, we guess...

I got an e-mail from Chris Handyside the morning the issue hit the streets, stating his one big regret was that we didn't include Dan Miller on the list. "I guess he's the definition of taken for granted," wrote Handyside. And that could well be the case...even if Dan is also mentioned in the last comment to the original piece on this site. Truth be told, Dan was definitely on the nominations list. He had my vote, to be honest...but when we did the voting thang, I think the other eds may have gotten slightly bogged down in the details and the criteria (which was our criteria -- folks who didn't like it should, again, make their own list) and the ruling we made about "artists" and eligibility. Nevertheless, any guy who was involved in doing the soundtrack for a recent great Johnny Cash documentary...and also played Luther Perkins in Taylor Hackford 's Cash biopic is certainly one of the most powerful people in Detroit. He shoulda been on the list.

Speaking of the artist criteria, it's too bad we couldn't include names like Eddie Baranek and Tim Vulgar and other local denizens who have helped a great many local bands over the years...but the one criterion we did hold firmly to was that "helping other musicians" alone wasn't enough. There also have to be some other kind of power base involved. Also, one local blogger was upset that we didn't include Madonna (as well as not paying nearly enough respect to the local bloggers...whatever...), terming the Material Girl's omission "sexist" on our parts -- but the poster obviously didn't read the rules that well. Madonna wasn't on the list for the same reason that, say, Iggy Pop wasn't on the list. Madge hasn't had any real roots in Michigan for eons now. Hell, she skipped the city on her two previous tours.

Have to confess that a few names disappeared in the editing process. Don't know if files got confused...or what. But, believe it or not, Gary Graff was originally mentioned again in the "Bubbling Under" section, in addition to be part of the local daily music scribes -- for his national profile as well as for cofounding the Motor City Music Foundation with Howard Hertz. Rachel May was originally mentioned in the Bubbling Under blurb for Melody Baetens as being Melody's counterpart over at the Detroit Free Press, although the former's profile may be slightly higher due to her frequent appearances elsewhere. But Rachel disappeared during the final editing. Dion Fischer was also originally on the list -- can't recall if it was on the first part of the list or the Bubbling Under...but somehow that name disappeared into space during the final process as well. Apologies to all.

And, by the way, for those who never figured it out (including, I think, one commenter on this site), the list was in alphabetical order, not ranked in order of importance. Doh!

Finally, just to show how blind we can be, as Hobey Echlin pointed out, our friend Doug Coombe certainly should have been on the list. Talk about missing someone right in front of our face! Could make the excuse that even though he's not a staffer, he's in every single issue of the paper and that's why we forgot him...but that's no fuckin' excuse! In fact, that's one of the things that makes him so powerful on the local scene. Doug's shot damn near every band/musical artist that's played this city for years now, as well as shooting damn near every local music-maker. Not only that...but if you're a local musician or scenester, he'll shoot your wedding as well. No question Doug should have been there...even if he was too damn modest to nominate himself...after his friends totally let him slip between the cracks.

As for that clarification: In the blurb for Michael Solaka, New Center Council President, it should have been noted that Northern Lights Lounge is actually in New Center and not in Mid Town.

The original idea for this list came from the annual BAM 100 that we used to do when I was an editor at that California magazine. Because it was the "Golden State" and so much of the then-thriving music biz was based there, the list had to be at least 100 people. Since this was Detroit, we thought a list of 50 would suffice. We were wrong, as -- with the "Bubbling Unders"-- the list quickly went to 70. Hopefully, we can make this an annual thing (believe me, positions of power can change greatly over the course of a year)...and all the names we neglected this year will be included next year. Fair enough? We hope so...

Scott Hamilton of Small Stone: Shoulda been on the list...


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