GORILLA MUSIC’S LOCAL PROMOTER CHALLENGE
Apparently I have been issued a challenge by the bigwigs at Gorilla Music on their “It’s Work to Play” propaganda site. Not only do they insist that they are not promoters, they are now claiming that local promoters don’t exist! Gorilla seems to think that because I’ve never made it a point to personally list individual promoters and bookers (who also promote their shows) on this website, I can’t come up with any. Wow, really?

To tell the truth, I just assumed that, like me, everyone has already worked with great local promoters. We started working with them the minute we formed our band 31 years ago. What would be the point of naming a bunch of them? Also, I felt it might alienate people who read neverpaytoplay.com. Even though my experience is based in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve always attempted to keep this information general enough to apply to anyone reading it. In other words, no one on the East Coast is going to get much advantage to read a list of great Northwest promoters.

But Gorilla continues to amaze us all with their bat-shit crazy “logic”. Who could have predicted my exclusion of names would cause Gorilla to make a statement like this?

“You would be hard pressed to find anyone involved in the local music scene singing the praises of a club or promoter for being good at promoting local bands. We firmly believe that this is because there is no such thing as a successful local band promoter. Now there are a handful of websites out there that are dedicated to the antithesis of what we’ve set out to tell musicians through this site – that presale tickets hurt and don’t help local bands, that all shows using presale tickets are “pay to play,” that it is not up to local bands to promote themselves, etc.

But on these websites, you will find that the individuals running them never seem to mention even one local band promoter that they respect. Odd, right? They insist that concert promotion falls entirely on the shoulders of promoters – never the bands booked to the show – and yet they can’t come up with even one company or person that is capable of promoting a local show.”

Hard pressed? Really?

So because I didn’t think it was important to list specific people I’d worked with, Gorilla claims it proves there are no local promoters! Okay, now they are just trying to make my brain hurt! It’s fairly common knowledge that Gorilla doesn’t promote any of their shows, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t hard working people out there who do. (And just to be clear I’ve never said a band shouldn’t also promote BUT the promoter should work twice as hard, since that’s their job!)

To rectify this situation for Gorilla and anybody else who is gullible enough to believe what they write, I will name a few local promoters I have dealt with over the years. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list. It’s basically off the top of my head. But if this will help to quell Gorilla’s mistaken theory, I’m more than happy to help out. By the way, besides promoting the shows they asked my band to play, we consider the people on this list to be friends.

LOCAL PROMOTERS I HAVE WORKED WITH (most more than once) AND RESPECT:

Jim May - Community World Theater, indie shows - Tacoma
Calvin Johnson (K Records) - Olympia Grange Hall, International Pop Underground, indie shows - Olympia
Jonathan Poneman (Sub Pop) - Scoundrel’s Lair, Ditto - Seattle
Terry Lee Hale - Five-0, Squid Row, Central Tavern - Seattle
Claudia Gerke - Vogue, Central Tavern, indie shows - Seattle
Susan Silver (U-Men, Soundgarden manager) - Scoundrel’s Lair, Central, Rainbow - Seattle
Aaron Roeder - 3B Tavern - Bellingham
Ben Munat - Satyricon - Portland
Peter "English" Verbrugge - Crocodile Cafe - Seattle
Christine Wood - Crocodile Cafe - Seattle
Lori LeFavor (Infinite Productions) - RckCndy, Off Ramp/El Corazon, indie shows - Seattle
Julianne Anderson (Empty Records) - Off Ramp, indie shows - Seattle
Kwab Copeland - Sunset Tavern, Bumbershoot, Macefield Music Festival - Seattle
Ken “Flash” Connel - Hell’s Kitchen, Dick Dale shows - Tacoma
Joe Rossi - Showboat - Tacoma
Cheleste Lucas - Slim’s - Seattle
Brian Foss - The Funhouse - Seattle
Larry Roberts - Tropicana - Olympia
Audrey Henley - Breakroom - Seattle
Harry Reetz - Capitol Theater, indie shows - Olympia
Lem Durant - Victory Music - Tacoma
Haejong Kim - GESSCO - Olympia
Brook Rex - New Frontier - Tacoma
Jack McQuade - The Swiss - Tacoma
Tim Brooks - Blue Gallery - Portland
Jodi Eckland - Chop Suey - Seattle
Larry Reid - COCA, Graven Image, U-men indie shows - Seattle
Brian Skiffington - Real Art, indie shows - Tacoma
Alease Aubrey Frieson - The Den, 337 - Tacoma
Trace Shannon - Dante’s, Voodoo Donuts, indie shows - Portland
Kenny Johnson - Music & Art in Wright Park, First Night - Tacoma
Bennett Thurmon - Music & Art in Wright Park, First Night, Marymoor Park - Tacoma, Seattle

I won’t even attempt to name all the bands who have also taken on the role of local promoter over the years. There are too many to list.

So just in case Gorilla Music persists in repeating this totally incorrect idea, I will say this for the record...

“Yes Gorilla, local promoters do exist!”


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