Music Industry News Network [12-04-2003]

Court Grants NYU's Demand For The Bottom Line's Eviction


Today is a dark day for the arts in the City of New York. Despite the protests of artists and citizens throughout the world, the court has granted New York University's demand for the eviction of The Bottom Line. As a result of NYU's action, the music that has played for nearly 30 years at 15 West 4th Street will soon be silenced.

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Since June, we have presented New York University with numerous proposals in the hopes that this day would never come. As recent as two weeks ago we sent a counterproposal to the onerous terms which NYU submitted to us; alas, they never had the courtesy to respond. Indeed, just last week the judge offered to mediate a resolution between NYU and The Bottom Line. Sadly each and every one of these solutions has either been ignored or rejected by NYU.

Over the last month many concerned private and corporate citizens including: Sirius Satellite Radio, Bruce Springsteen, Mel Karmazin, Richard Wissack and AT&T have all offered financial commitments to help demonstrate to NYU that they were the custodians of something much more valuable than a piece of "undervalued real estate." In fact, in a cultural and historic sense this piece of real estate might be the most valuable property in their portfolio.

Even in this 11th hour, when the court has already ruled, we are still calling upon John Sexton, the President of NYU to use his good offices to help bring about a more reasonable solution to this situation. Not to act means everyone loses. We believe his silence will reverberate far into the future, as would his leadership if he chooses to act. His silence will be considered when future students choose what university they wish to attend, because what school you choose says much about who you are. His silence will be remembered by alumni, when they are deciding about contributing to their alma mater. It will be remembered by the people of New York City who will remember that NYU is more interested in swallowing their neighbors than preserving their neighborhood's quality of life. And Mr.Sexton's silence will be considered by that "next Einstein" the University so hopes to attract, because he or she will know that as much of an elite University education takes place outside the classroom as within it. After all, it was the first Einstein who said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Our hope is that in the time we have left a concerned member of this community, city, state or nation who may have influence far beyond ours will be able to persuade NYU to reevaluate their position so that they realize that the university will be diminished by eliminating one of the most important classrooms on their campus. Any other university in this country cannot match this classroom where art, culture and history are taught by a distinguished faculty past and present including Professors: Bruce Springsteen, Miles Davis, Bill Monroe, Count Basie, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Bill Evans, Richard Price, Aaron Copland, Tony Bennett, Ringo Starr, Emmylou Harris, June Carter Cash, Patti Smith, George Jones, Doc Watson, Lou Reed, Kris Kristofferson, Alan Ginsberg, Joan Baez, Ravi Shankar, Jerry Garcia and Dizzy Gillespie.

As for The Bottom Line, if NYU does not grant us some type of reprieve (which only they can do) we will be able to present live music only until the Marshall silences us by executing New York University's warrant of eviction.


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