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SAN ANTONIO — Blaine Tucker loved the power of live music.
With that love, Gary Clark Jr.
In a 2020 interview for this column, he was inspired by that love to glorify music venues where people are “shoulder to shoulder, standing room alone, beer flying.”
By showing that love, Tucker, who died on December 30 at the age of 42, strengthened San Antonio’s music scene in many ways.
He co-founded the Maverick Music Festival (and even used his skills as an attorney for Madonna’s dormant record label, Maverick Records, for the rights to use the name).
He served as co-owner of The Mix, a St. Mary’s Strip staple, and Floors Country Store, a legendary Herotes honky tonk.
He also founded the St. Mary’s Business Owners Association as a way to give live music entrepreneurs on the Strip a platform for their concerns.
But Tucker’s most profound contribution to the vitality of live music came on the national stage.
In April 2020, as it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating the live music industry, Tucker joined a group of colleagues across the country to form the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). bottom.
Running a music venue is a precarious job even in the best of times. Those venues faced an existential crisis in the face of a pandemic that forced people to distance themselves from each other. They needed massive federal assistance — ASAP.
Tucker helped lead NIVA’s Texas lobbying efforts.
“From the beginning, it was an arduous process, because a lot of it was educating people in various congresses and calling them all,” Tucker told me two years ago.
Early on, Tucker had connections with the staff of Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn. Cornyn has agreed to lend his name to a letter calling for “targeted legislative action” to address the “unprecedented crisis” affecting music venues.
Cornyn and Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar created “Laws to Protect Our Stage” in a bipartisan fashion. In December 2020, it was included in his $900 billion stimulus package passed by Congress.
Save Our Stages has provided $15 billion in grants to endangered independent music venues and performance spaces.
You’ve saved countless music venues across the United States and preserved a fragile piece of this nation’s soul. It was a team effort to get it through, and Tucker didn’t particularly like to take credit for it, but his NIVA teammates knew his role was important. I was.
Ron Ozer, executive director of the Arden Concert Guild in Delaware, expressed his shock over Tucker’s death last week.
“Blaine has been a powerhouse in everything we’ve done, joining us on emails and zooms with passionate poetic cheerleading and amazing legal insight,” Ozar said on Facebook. I am writing to “His unpretentious demeanor belied a life full of legal and musical experiences that are invaluable to all of us.”
One of Tucker’s most striking qualities was his determination to find common ground among people with diverse interests and goals.
In December 2015, Tucker wrote to city officials on behalf of fellow business owners after neighbors complained about noise and traffic caused by a spike in nighttime activity on the St. Mary’s Strip.
“Aggressive steps must be taken to advance infrastructure changes for public safety to accommodate increased pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle traffic,” Tucker wrote. .
He listed improved lighting, speed limit signs and pedestrian crossings as a priority.
When it came to the Save Our Stages Act, Tucker sought allies wherever he could find them, regardless of political affiliation.
“It became clear very early in the process that many of our venues were in the Blue District,” Tucker said last year at the NIVA Convention in Cleveland. “But the reality of the law, as we know it, requires bipartisan support to achieve meaningful change in DC.
“With that in mind, Texas started smashing down virtual doors to tell a slightly different angle to our story.”
Tucker grew up in San Antonio and was a staunch supporter of his city. But in a way, it’s fitting that his birthplace was Clovis, New Mexico, the small town that became the iconic setting for Buddy Holly’s timeless recordings with producer Norman Petty. am.
Tucker understood the power of music to inspire us all and believed that presenting great music was a noble act. His spirit and passion will be missed.
email@example.com | Twitter: @gilgamesh470
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