Opinion: The end of the line for rock and roll

After everything I just learned, I seriously need to get out of Maryland for good.

Two nights ago before dinner, I learned some horrible, petrifying news: Brian Recher, owner of the fantastic Recher Theatre, has sold the beloved rock venue gem to someone who plans to turn it into a stingy night club.

Honestly, that’s even worse, putting in a club for frat boys and sorority girls who want to go dancing (or really grinding) to whiny pop music by people who can’t sing or just can’t write a decent tune. I can actually picture it, or really hear the noise:

“Shining bright like a DIE-mehnd… shining bright like a DIE-mehnd…”

“Wee-EEGH are never ever EVER getting back to-get-her!”


What’s horrible about it is that the noise level could disrupt anyone just trying to have a quiet time at the Barnes and Noble café down the street, trying to study or read a good book on their Kindles. Even more so is what people would see just driving by. Looking at a pathetic night club is like an eyesore, if it’s anything like the casinos in Las Vegas or the newly installed casinos here in Maryland.

Plus, where would all the local bands in the Towson scene go if there’s no other venue except for the Towson University campus, which only holds a couple of local shows every year? Their basements at home?

Yech. All that makes me want to choke.

When I was going to college at Towson, I adored going to the Recher to see my favorite local bands live. The Lake Effect, Lefthandout (now called Hang On), Who is Atlas, Fools and Horses, A Crimson Atlantic, along with many others. I used to go to the doors with my best friend to hear those bands play and write wonderful articles and reviews of shows there. I had nothing but good times there with great experiences.

But I guess after what happened with the overcrowding and full-on brawl that occurred late last year, the owner decided to shut it down and give it to someone else.

I applaud TowsonUniversity student Rachel Harman, who started a petition where she got a little more than 1,000 people to vouch for keeping the Recher the way it is. Still, it wasn’t good enough because the sale has already been made official.

On March 31, rock and roll in Towson dies. Plus, the owner of Merriweather is thinking of closing the venue down, even though I never liked going there at all. Still, those were the only good places of catching a decent rock show outside the city.

It is as I feared. Rock and roll is dying. If no one does anything to stop it, rock and roll in Maryland will die this year.

Didn’t anyone remember those legendary sold out shows All Time Low would play at the Recher? What about the intimate moments that fans got to have with artists that graced the stage? I remember them, but I’m sure no one else I know does, except for my best friend.

Think about it. Some college professors that are in bands, like Towson adjunct professor Andy Belt, won’t be able to perform in gigs close by. College and high school students won’t get their chance to showcase their talents anywhere in the area because they don’t have the money to play at big time venues like Rams Head Live and Pier Six.

The only small places that would allow great talents to perform would be tiny places in the dangerous city, like The Sidebar Tavern and The Brass Monkey, both places with poor sound quality. That, or they’d have to go on some reality television show to get their name out there and achieve recognition.

Is that what this world has come to? Is this the death of rock and roll?

But I’m praying that there’s still hope. I read in Rolling Stone last night that Fall Out Boy, my favorite punk band of all time, is finally releasing a new record in May, Save Rock and Roll. The LP will include their new hit “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”, which came in at #2 on the iTunes bestseller list almost overnight.

I also learned from Vince that there’s another venue in my area, which is closer to my house- the House of Rock on Pulaski Highway.

So if Merriweather goes under, I’ll be a little relieved. But I am just heartbroken that the Recher will be gone by the time spring gets here.


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