The Arlo Guthrie Concert Massacre (with Apologies To ‘alice’s Restaurant’)

Carnegie Hall concert goes on, after strike canceled performance

We got up there and we found the Arlo Guthrie concert and it was a good concerta great concertand we decided to stay the night at the young ladys home but in the middle of the night her father didnt like what he was hearing and threw us out so, with tears in our eyes (well, in mine) we drove off into the darkness back home to the Jersey shore where the sun came up as we drove over the George Redding Bridge. Living at the shore and working all summer you dont get a lot of days off but you do meet a lot of people and the next summer, on my one day off, I took another trip to see Arlo Guthrie play at the Valley Forge Music Fair. This time, planning to meet another young lady who I had met at the shore who I was less interested in pursuing a relationship with (but who was more interested in pursuing a relationship with me). We had a terrific time at the Arlo concert followed by mixed messages and awkwardness that lasted months. The next year, I got up the nerve to ask yet another young lady who I had fumbled a date with years earlier. It was another great Arlo show but, intimidated by the massive one-year age difference between me and the older woman, I failed to ask her out again. Four, maybe five, other times Ive seen Arlo Guthrie in concertincluding a lovely concert with my lovely wife (who, for the record, isnt one of those three young ladies). But seeing seven or eight Arlo Guthrie concerts doesn’t mean I’m one of those fans with 27 different 8-by-10 color glossy pictures with a paragraph on the back explaining what each one was. Im just a guy who has happily punctuated his life with Arlo Guthrie concerts. What I came to tell you about. They got a building up in Carmel. Its called the Palladium. I went up there to see Arlo in concert and I walked in, sat down, and said hello to a man and his wife who had moved their seats because a fellow next to them had been talking to himself too loudly. Arguing even.

Carnegie Hall stagehands struck Wednesday morning over a jurisdiction issue, not only depriving New Yorkers of a chance to hear the orchestra in Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and Saint-Saens, but also keeping the ensemble from impressing gala cochairs such as philanthropists Mercedes T. Bass and Marie-Josee and Henry Kravis. Violinist Joshua Bell and double-bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding were to have been guest soloists. After 13 months of talks, and “after no significant progress, we found it absolutely necessary to take action to protect the members that we represent,” said James J. Claffey Jr., president of Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, in a statement. In statements regarding the labor dispute, both the union and Carnegie Hall management cited differences over union work in the hall’s newly created education wing. “We are disappointed that, despite the fact that the stagehands have one of the most lucrative contracts in the industry, they are now seeking to expand their jurisdiction beyond the concert hall and into the new Education Wing in ways that would compromise Carnegie Hall’s education mission,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie’s executive and artistic director. New York’s loss was Philadelphia’s gain. The orchestra organized a conducting competition in the lobby before the concert, with would-be podium-hoppers lining up to lead a string ensemble in an excerpt from Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik. A near-toddler tried out, his hands guided by orchestra associate conductor Cristian Macelaru. For this half-hour, the orchestra’s podium saw more diversity than in its entire history: women, African American men and women, Asians, the very young. One contestant was slow.

Struck in N.Y., Phila. Orchestra pulls off a concert anyhow

Guest conductor Madeline Church, 9, with help from Yannick Nézet-Séguin, finishes the "William Tell Overture." DAVID SWANSON / Staff

A union leader told Reuters he was optimistic the two sides could reach a permanent deal by Friday. The dispute hangs on whether the stagehands – mostly prop-makers, carpenters and electricians – should have a role in a new educational wing that the Carnegie Hall Corp plans to open above the hall next year. The corporation wants to hire cheaper labor at the education wing. Negotiations with the union took an unprecedented turn on Wednesday when Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees decided to go on strike for the first time in the history of Carnegie Hall. However, when James Claffey, president of Local 1, emerged from negotiations on Thursday afternoon, he announced the union had agreed to pull down the picket line for the day, citing progress in the talks. “This is a goodwill gesture towards Carnegie Hall,” said Claffey, whose local has negotiated some of the most lucrative pay in the industry. He later said further progress had been made, and that even though picketing would continue, he hoped to reach a deal by Friday. Carnegie Hall’s five full-time stagehands make an average of $400,000 per year including benefits, The New York Times reported, citing the organization’s tax returns. Claffey said there were many more stagehands represented by the union who work only sporadically. “This dispute is not about those employees,” Claffey said. “This is about everyone else. These are middle class employees.” The strike forced Carnegie Hall to cancel a performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra with violinist Joshua Bell. The concert was part of Carnegie Hall’s opening-night gala, the organization’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

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