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Back off Madison and Duluth - Wilco belongs to Chicago!

SHARE Back off Madison and Duluth - Wilco belongs to Chicago!

Anyone who knows Wilco knows they’re a Chicago band through and through. Just glance at the cover of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or listen to the tune “Via Chicago” for proof. Now some of our regional neighbors are trying to bask in the band’s glow. First it was Duluth, Minnesota. When the band played there on February 19, Mayor Don Ness met with the band before their show and made an official mayoral proclamation of Wilco being an “Honorary Duluth Band.” When Wilco played Madison, Wisconsin the next day, The Cap Times reports that Tweedy taunted the city for not recognizing them after playing far more concerts there than Duluth. Alderperson Satya Rhodes-Conway was at the show and was approached by several constituents, who wanted Wilco to be recognized. She rose to the challenge and introduced a resolution claiming Wilco as honorary Madison citizens. Madison’ alderpeople (that’s what they call ‘em in Madison) can’t make proclamations, so the resolution still has to be adopted by the full council at their March 2 meeting. So far the mayor and nine out of twenty council members have sponsored the measure, so has a good chance at passing. This got me wondering if Chicago had ever taken similar measures to recognize Wilco. After all, we have ‘Talk Like Shakespeare Day’, ‘Smashing Pumpkins Day’ and ‘Diddy Day.’ Surely there must be something on the books for Wilco. Not according to David Daskal (and everyone else I spoke with at the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Mayor’s Correspondance Office). Daskal said there’d never been much demand for special recognition. Click through to read Duluth and Madison’s hilarious full documents. Duluth’s proclamation:

Whereas, most Duluth bands have many of the following characteristics: At least one band member that looks like a musician-sized lumberjack. Occasional use of banjos, washboards, spoons, second banjos, and/or fiddles. Some sort of connection (real or imagined) with Al Sparhawk. A musical style that could be in part described with the word “roughneck" (ie roughneck folk, roughneck blues, roughneck indie rock, etc); and Whereas, it appears that Wilco (the band) meets at least a couple of these important characteristics; and Whereas, the Wilco show held on September 4, 2007 was an authentic Duluth experience that featured fog, a stiff cold wind, an ore boat, and a band that seemed to thrive in these elements. Wilco seemed to appreciate it every bit as much as we did; and Whereas, Wilco’s 2007 fog show in Duluth was the equivalent of two young lovers thrown into a phone booth to wait out a downpour (if the weather wasn’t so bad we’d still just be holding hands); and Whereas, Duluthians have a special appreciation for talent, authenticity, creativity, and a lack of pretense that Wilco represents; and Whereas, Wilco is generously supporting two Duluth charities: Little Treasures and the Duluth Community Garden program with sales of the concert poster; NOW, THEREFORE, I, Don Ness, Mayor of the City of Duluth, do officially proclaim, Wilco as an “Honorary Duluth Band" And proclaim that such status makes Wilco officially eligible to play in the annual Duluth Homegrown Music Festival (as long as the submitted demo doesn’t suck).

Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway’s resolution:

Title: Declaring the band Wilco and its members Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone, honorary citizens of the great City of Madison, Wisconsin. Body: WHEREAS, Wilco has visited Madison and played concerts here at least thirteen times since 1995 (including a show at Club DeWash in February of 1995); and, WHEREAS, Jeff Tweedy says of Madison: ‘We really like it here'; and, WHEREAS, Wisconsinites generally have a love/hate relationship with all things from Illinois but the sold-out show at the Overture Center on February 21, 2010 (sic) had only love for this band from Chicago; and, WHEREAS, at least one member of the Common Council attended the show and can attest to its excellence; and, WHEREAS, The Isthmus called Wilco ‘America’s shiniest rock object'; and, WHEREAS, Duluth, MN may be cool, but we would not want it said that either that fine city or its mayor are cooler than Madison and our mayor (even if Mayor Dave is not sure who Jeff Tweedy is); and, WHEREAS, the City of Madison looks forward to many future visits by Wilco; and, WHEREAS, It is generally true that late is better than never, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Common Council and Mayor declare the band Wilco and its members, Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone, honorary citizens of the great City of Madison, Wisconsin.

UPDATE: The Mayor’s Correspondence Office just sent over the original Smashing Pumpkins Day proclamation. Perhaps this can serve as a template for Wilco recognition:

WHEREAS, the Smashing Pumpkins are one of the world’s biggest and most successful rock music acts; and WHEREAS, during their 13-year career, the Smashing Pumpkins sold more than 22 million records and performed concerts across the globe; and WHEREAS, the band has released seven albums and numerous EPs and singles, several of which have been certified platinum; and WHEREAS, among the band’s many accolades are two Grammy Awards and several nominations, a Billboard Music Award, an American Music Award, seven MTV Music Video Awards, and various awards from music-industry publications; and WHEREAS, the Smashing Pumpkins will play their last show Saturday, December 2, at the Metro, where the band performed their first show in 1988; and WHEREAS, Chicago is proud to have been home of this successful rock group: NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD M. DALEY, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, do hereby proclaim December 2, 2000, to be SMASHING PUMPKINS DAY IN CHICAGO, and encourage all Chicagoans to recognize the band’s many achievements and contributions. Dated this 1st day of December, 2000.

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