a few words about Sue McLean

"Live Music is good for your soul "- Sue McLean

I wanted to make mention of the passing of Sue McLean , whose funeral was earlier today.  I often refer to the fact that we are standing on shoulders of giants, Sue McLean might be one of the biggest of them.  Independent concert promoters are a vanishing breed, the last line of defense from the clear channel nation,  they give alternatives to the “what we know will sell” to what might sell. She championed the underdog .

Starting in the  70’s  booking bands like the Suicide Commandos and Curtiss A, later moving onto booking as the curative voice of Duffy’s and later still  the Guthrie’s concert series, the Basilica block party,  and the Music at the Zoo concert series.  She gave voice to female artists,  helped to make MPLS the Americana capitol that it is; She believed in the power of live music as a means of bringing community together.

In general the business of music is predominantly male, its a thing that’s easy to forgot living here in MPLS because of the amazing number of  strong women leaders we have here.  Its folks like Sue McLean who helped to make that possible.  I can’t count on both hands how many friends she helped give their starts too. Her loss has left a huge hole in so many hearts.

She and I had never met, save for once, last fall.  Our conversation consisted mostly of how surprising it was that we had never met before. Its an overused metaphor, but it felt like talking to Jackie Robinson, and afterwards I couldn’t help but think of her as the domino that tipped so many others , all of which helped to build the amazing and diverse musical foundation of this city.

We live in a special city, and its special because of people like Sue McLean who took the chance to build what they believed in. I think the measure of a person is part, did they make the world better or worse for being in it,  She definitely made it a better place.  If live music is good for the soul, then she’s probably up sainthood.