Joegrushecky springsteen
There’s no doubt I was... hard on them, year one. I was most definitely a vocal critic regarding the process, accountability, a level playing field, an exclusive event that was still inclusive.
I am here to say I feel like they listened.
This is not to say they listened to me, per se, but they did listen to us. Writers like the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Scott Mervis were critical of the process in a more eloquent fashion than the bluntness I am known for, yet it made a difference because he’s respected in the music community. His opinion matters.
The surprise I felt when I read the letter inviting me to be a member of the voting committee was truly genuine. I knew at that moment that they were serious. I knew that they were listening to those of us in the trenches. One of the reasons I respect Mervis is his awareness of that element. It would be easy for him to play it safe and cater to the big name shows and the sponsors, but he does weigh in on local music topics that need his voice, even when it’s dangerous territory, politically speaking.
The truth is, in my own small way, I have been blessed to have been a small part of (arguably) the most successful decade Pittsburgh’s music scene ever had. I like to think that the honor shown me by the Legends committee represents not just my efforts, but the efforts and real contributions made by the people I’ve been privileged to work with, and the bands who felt they had a voice through our efforts.
And I think that speaks volumes about the process becoming something to be proud of. It has potential to be something really special.
I could name drop here, but I’ll just say there’s a couple folks I would thank. I’m certain they spoke up in my favor. That’s why I have to say, publicly, they have really been responsive and I feel the need to apologize-- not for the validity of my comments-- for my often harsh delivery.
You listened.
Let’s be clear here, I am totally behind the cause of benefiting cancer research. No problem there. No problem with any of the inductees, either. I mean, seriously, who can argue with any of the nominees, had they been selected?
Iris, Grushecky, McDowell, Chedwick, Price... all worthy.
Rich Engler, along with the newly inducted Pat DiCesare, are literally legends in the music world. Internationally known promoters. They were at the helm when rock’s greatest bands came through Pittsburgh. They booked every single member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (I can’t prove that, but I bet they did). Once upon a time, Pittsburgh was one of the largest cities in the country, and everyone played here. D/E Productions, in one form or another, was behind all of it.
Indeed, they are still impacting the scene today through those they schooled. Drusky Entertainment’s Brian Drusky cut his teeth there, as did other promoters in Pittsburgh.
Supermonkey Recording Company president Chris Globlewski counts Pat DiCesare among his biggest influences and mentors.
The thing is, they listened. The Legends committee listened.
That’s why I’m writing this. That’s why all the newspapers and radio stations are talking about this year’s inductees. That’s good for our music scene, and even better, bodes well for the future. As Pittsburgh grows, and it is growing, our scene will become more visible, nationally speaking. That’s good for everyone who plays an instrument, for every kid banging out their first power chords in the bedroom, or driving their parents crazy pounding on their new/used drum set.
We have a tendency to view music outwardly in Pittsburgh. What they’re doing, somewhere else. By honoring those who came before us here, in Pittsburgh, we build a solid foundation on the idea of just creating music, regardless of what anyone else is doing anywhere else. We’re doing this, now. Right here, right now. The Legends has become a force to further that ideal.
At least, that’s how I see it.
Please visit them at for information about the uopcoming awards ceremony at Stage AE.

vif bluebanner1
Category: Main Stage