Wilco (the city) = Duluth

Wilco’s fog show in Duluth was the equivalent of two young lovers waiting out a downpour in a phone booth (if the weather wasn’t so bad we’d still just be holding hands).

I loved that show – the fog, the ore boat, the Brewhouse beer, the unseasonable cold, and a band who seemed to thrive in the elements.   It was perfect because it was such an authentic Duluth experience and Wilco seemed to appreciate it every bit as much as we did.

It seems to me there something special going on between Wilco and Duluth, a sense of connection between band and city.  Duluthians recognize and appreciate the authenticity, the talent, the lack of pretense – it’s all those qualities that we see and expect from our local rock stars (Al, Mimi, Charlie, Turtles, Jerree, Tony B, etc).

So, here’s the deal, since there is nothing in the Charter that strictly prohibits me from doing so, I’m going to officially proclaim Wilco as an honorary Duluth band.  I need your help to define exactly what that means…

1)  We need to come up with some sort of “official trinket” that represents their honorary Duluth band status

2) We need to present the ground rules for being a Duluth band – with power comes responsibility

3) What are the special perks to being a Duluth band in good standing?

Obviously, they would now be eligible to play Homegrown (we’ll have to remind them that registration closes at the end of February).

Thanks for your help.



about 8 years ago

1) First thought was a Lake Superior agate, being regional, and fairly pretty. Maybe engraved or carved... not sure how difficult or expensive that kind of thing is.
Plaques and "awards" aren't very interesting, though...
1) Maybe something more practical. A guitar/instrument accessory. An embroidered patch.
1) Perhaps something made by a local artisan locally like stoneware, a custom knit hat or scarf, wooden carving, or blown glass (like the gentleman who does the Brewhouse's taps).

2) Eh... Must have performed live a certain number of times w/in city limits? Must have never been certified platinum at time of induction?


about 8 years ago

How about (in keeping with asEM's theme) a piece of the Lift Bridge that they were auctioning off?


about 8 years ago

3) Can now officially play @ Homegrown, if their demo tape doesn't suck.


about 8 years ago

Neat Idea Don, I assume you must be introducing the band?

1) Get back to you, "trinket"? How about something from your office that symbolizes Duluth (something old, vintage,)

2) They must represent Duluth in the way that they experienced it, tell others stories, spread the word about the north shore and the spirit of the beautiful lake.  (ehem you know like tell all your buddies to come up here and play!).

3) They get the key to the city? And it's in the bottom of the lake. (Sorry not sure if that was funny). 

Good luck, are those your topics of choice to speak of when you are introducing the band?  

P.S. Will the NSA/Google research platform offer realtime algorithmic hunger/belly food suggestions?


about 8 years ago

Oh yeah, I have a vintage Gore Vidal book called "Duluth" (neat cover too) will throw that in if you are suggesting a "gift basket."


about 8 years ago

I definitely agree that the major perk should be that they be allowed to at least apply for Homegrown, you know, in a special honorary sort of way and, again, if their demo doesn't suck.


about 8 years ago

They have to promise to play kickball...AND go to the afterparty at the old Shaky Ray...AND each member should be required to do a beer bong with Grant Johnson. We could make this the official initiation into Homegrown.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

Touchdown, do they actually have to do those things, or just promise to? Semantics can be so important when it comes to serious issues like kickball and beer bongs.


about 8 years ago

Tell the band that we have a town where the mayor said, "Wilco's fog show in Duluth was the equivalent of two young lovers waiting out a downpour in a phone booth (if the weather wasn't so bad we'd still just be holding hands)." I mean, come on! Where else does the mayor speak with such romantic eloquence? God, I love this town!


about 8 years ago

Right, Paul. Good point. We may have to threaten to not give them their honorary gifts until the weekend is over and they've fulfilled their promises. They should also buy a local residence, or at least rent an apartment. 

Also, as far as a Duluth band in good standing:
1. They should have local acts open for them.
2. I want to hear them chant "Bone Appetit, Bone Appetit", or do a rendition of a Bone Appetit song which will be a duet with Jeff Tweedy and Cory Ahlm.
3. Put all Duluth bands on the guest list.

Local T-shirts are always a plus, too. Can Ringo Starr qualify for Homegrown?


about 8 years ago

When Willie Nelson was here in 2005 (06?), the Duluth Biodiesel Co-op convinced Mayor Bergson to declare "Willie Nelson Day" in Duluth, and present Willie with the key to the city. It was pretty awesome. The co-op filled up Willie's buses with biodiesel and we all got backstage passes and access to Willie's green room food.

Thanks, Mayor Ness, for being such a great mayor! (I would think Homegrown t-shirts for Wilco would be in order, at a minimum).


about 8 years ago

If Ringo's shirt gets him in then the Replacements and Meat Puppets get in for name dropping Duluth in song.  I suppose Queens of the Stone Age should get something for naming a tour after Duluth.

While the mayor is at it, please look into if Van Halen is actually banned from Duluth for damage to the skywalk. If this story from my youth is indeed true, then please reverse this as well.  That's pretty rock and roll and they should also be a Duluth band.  Make sure you get the Roth era Van Halen, not Van Hagar and not Eddie's son.

Ozzy should get in for playing on Easter and pissing on the DECC.

Not sure if the Cult did anything special for Duluth, but that was a cool show.  Maybe whip up some stuff about brother Wolf and Sister Moon.  Ian would like that.

Actually, Bone Appetit should go through the process as well.  The core of the group was not from Duluth.  I think Johnny Heartless wins as being actually from Duluth.  I know a Superior born like myself won't qualify.


about 8 years ago

Is there some sort of trinket that represents Duluth which can be purchased at the Whole Foods Co-Op?

I know if Wilco & the Co-Op are teaming up to raise money for two local non-profits. Might be nice to give them something from the co-op, but I can't think of anything.


about 8 years ago

When is that hydrocodone-popping jackass going to pay me the $2,000 he owes me?


about 8 years ago

It would be sweet if KenSpeckle Letterpress did a poster/shirt for Wilco.


about 8 years ago

Tweedy's off the pills if that is who you are referring to Adam.


about 8 years ago

1.) I agree that a Lake Superior Agate would be a perfect "official trinket".  Why mess with perfection and sculpt or carve it?  Plus, I know from carving soap stone and collecting agates, that the beauty of an agate is in the banding which makes sculpting/ carving much more difficult and likely to fracture.


about 8 years ago

Cowbell anyone? More cowbell. Official cowbell to the city.


about 8 years ago

Not sure why my comment was formatted like that. Sorry.

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