Label: Not On Label - RR4S-1383/4 • Format: Vinyl LP, Stereo • Country: US • Genre: Folk, World, & Country, Stage & Screen • Style: Musical
Dave Danforth is on assignment this week, Paper - Stafford Brothers, Tommy Trash & Steve Aoki - Sessions Seven Mr. This one originally ran April 13, By the time you read this, it will be all over.
The Crystal Palace business will likely go silent. Metcalf is a complete artist-entrepreneur. It would be difficult even for his talented cast to tend to all the quirky details that propelled the Palace to institutional status. Metcalf pitched all nine innings in a rare life performance. At 25, he began by playing piano at the Jerome inquickly moving to what was the Motherlode and then into Be Back Soon - Mead* And Joan Metcalf - An Evening At The Crystal Palace current digs.
Now 76, he leaves for a home on a Crested Butte golf course with his health and wife Diane. He was close enough to his cast that, had they been able to carry on, it would have been difficult for him to leave.
The Crystal Palace once ran two shows nightly in season. The business was not just one, but three — part restaurant and part theatre — and then the music. The departure of the Crystal Palace leaves a larger question for Aspen: is its current climate enough to nourish future Metcalf-style artist-entrepreneurs?
Metcalf is one of a band of artists who pushed their chosen fields into businesses, were able to secure their futures by buying their buildings, and finally rode into near-retirement by selling the buildings because Be Back Soon - Mead* And Joan Metcalf - An Evening At The Crystal Palace businesses were usually too unique.
We mourn lost enterprises like the Red Onion, Motherlode and La Cocina — and the last two were run by artist-entrepreneurs who managed to purchase their buildings as tickets to enduring businesses.
It would be difficult to imagine either restaurant continuing without a Howard or a Nick. Had they done so, they would have put off the right to sell buildings that had become more valuable than the businesses within. They have been caught up in Penthouse Purgatory and the rush to sell glitz with a view.
Owners driven by near-obsession typically run them. They often involve long-term staffs and touch many thousands of customers. They often start more for the love of a chosen craft, and ski bumming, than for money. Then they are just good enough to keep heads above water and accumulate profit for the long run.
In Aspen, to last at least a quarter-century Metcalf doubled that such an operator will collide with Boot-Leg - Various - Memphis Gold estate reality. The valley can be unforgiving and even ruthless to renters under uncertain leases and moody landlords. It favors obsessed one-time ski bum types who do well enough to buy in. Yet no entrepreneur to date has had to plan some penthouse construction in order to afford to buy his or her digs.
They just happen, like a Metcalf. Explore Booksellers survived Katharine Thalberg, though it required a real estate benefactor. Is Belly Up the kind of one-of-a-kind establishment that, having secured its space, could survive founder Michael Goldberg?
Artist-entrepreneurs are often busy enough that they rarely think about the long term. And they rarely have the disposition to stop long enough to accept help from the outside. The future of a town without a Metcalf is for us to consider — as are the conditions that let artists do what they do. The Crystal Palace is over. But whether the next artist-entrepreneur to emerge finds the conditions hospitable enough to buy in and stay — assuming he or she can carry on a business — is work for the rest of us.
When Mead Metcalf shows up in Crested Butte, he will have no peanut butter on his chin. And he will hope nobody there notices. Edit Article Add New Article.
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