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Thursday, June 7, 2007

RE: Chop Suey, Colin Johnson & Poster Giant

posted by on June 7 at 9:00 AM

As detailed in this week’s edition of Fucking in the Streets, booking agent Colin Johnson has been “let go” from Chop Suey as of Monday. Chop Suey owner John Villesvik responds:

It seems a lot of folks would like there to be a giant controversy regarding Poster Giant and Colin. Although the timing would seem suspect we would like to reiterate that the two having nothing to do with each other.

Colin was let go for purely financial reasons. The truth is that Chop Suey endorsed his position about Poster Giant. Both Colin and myself, as the owner of Chop Suey, discussed and agreed that we should sever our relationship with Poster Giant. When he said it was Chop Suey’s decision, he was correct. We will continue to choose not to do business with Poster Giant as we are unsure of the effectiveness of postering as a promotional tool.

Colin was very good at booking shows that were great shows from the public perspective. I had always been happy with the quality of the shows that Colin brought to Chop Suey. The problem is that such high quality talent brings a high cost, especially in Seattle’s competetive market. The cost of talent plus staffing and other costs were not being covered by the revinue he generated, so changes were needed.

Chop Suey’s finances are stable and in the black, but to remain in the black required this drastic option. Chop Suey is ever looking forward and will continue to book high quality talent and also remain a profitable business.

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A quite different response than "To remain relevant to the community" Must not have liked the smell of their peepee.

Posted by lolerskates | June 7, 2007 11:27 AM

it sucks that colin lost his job, he has done a great job at the chop. i am positive he will continue to kick ass in another capacity.

i don't know the inner workings of chop suey's current configuration but i do know this: rock clubs are a dicey proposition when it comes to making money.

for every sold out night, there are countless others where you're lucky to get 50 people in the house. talent still needs to be paid, staff needs to be paid, rent, electricity, garbage, and a million other things need to be paid.

revenue from the door is not where rock clubs make their money. bar sales keep clubs afloat and, as any rock club owner/operator will tell you, bar sales in a live music venue have very limited windows of opportunity.

unlike a cocktail lounge, where people sit and drink all night, or a danceclub, where people stand and drink all night, rock club bar sales mainly occur in the downtime before and between performances. this creates a very uneven stream of revenue.

i believe chop suey's owner when he says that colin's dismissal is a financial decision. were there other factors involved? probably. there always are. but it seems to me that the whole poster giant tie-in is an unfortunate coincidence.

Posted by kerri harrop | June 7, 2007 1:02 PM

I don't understand how both of these sentences are true...

"The cost of talent plus staffing and other costs were not being covered by the revinue (sic) he generated, so changes were needed."


"Chop Suey’s finances are stable and in the black, but to remain in the black required this drastic option."

...does this mean that the shows booked in-house were losing money, while outside promoters' shows were making that back?

anyway, it's a bummer and I don't think Colin got a fare shake. It takes time to build relationships and history with agents, agencies, and bands. Years. And if you don't make some mistakes along the way, then you aren't taking chances.

He started with the deck stacked against him - the guy (another great buyer) he was assisting goes a few blocks down the street and is his most direct competition. TO TEAM UP WITH HIS FORMER BIGGEST COMPETITOR. He did a fantastic job considering the circumstances, and regardless of who steps in, the next several months will be a step back before any momentum is recovered.

I have no idea what his salary was, but it's going to look like a bargain in the near future.

your team might have lost a few games, but if you believe in them then give them a chance to learn from it instead of trading the MVP.

Posted by still | June 7, 2007 2:25 PM

this is a load of shit and everyone knows it. chop suey has never been more relevant than it is today and that is due to Colin's bookings. FUCK YOU CHOP SUEY.

Posted by truth_tastic | June 7, 2007 4:53 PM

after reading chop's response, it sounds like colin was bringing in people and great bands, but that the club still needed/wanted more money. that could mean they think they can bring in the same acts as colin and thus not have to pay him, or that they required a greated profit margin (ie, colin was paying the great bands he booked too much). it is odd that they couldn't discuss it, but who knows what all the reasons were...

Posted by infrequent | June 7, 2007 5:21 PM

The truth is probably None Of Our Business.

Chop Suey may have needed more money but were happy enough with Colin. However, this might have required reducing Colin's pay and making him a part-time promoter, and perhaps Colin couldn't deal with that situation and said "either full time or I'm out doing something else"

This is complete conjecture, and there could be zero truth to anything I mentioned. I'm just pointing out that this is just one of many examples of what may have gone down, and that the truth is, well, probably far more boring than you want it to be.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | June 7, 2007 6:16 PM

The joke appears to be on us.

a) I'm not sure of the legal issues surrounding this postering business. To me, telephone poles seem to be owned, the physical poles themselves, by someone other than the postering companies or any band who posters. When a postering company charges to hang posters, how are they skating away with money for postering something that's not their property? My understanding is that postering is OK as long as no money changes hands. This is obviously not the case.

b) Not only do postering companies have HANGING UP posters as part of their charters, they also apparently have TEARING DOWN other posters as part of what they do. I know of several "patrols" that Poster Giant uses as part of their business.

c) I'm curious about the postering companies' environmental stances. What a giant fucking waste of paper. And, a lot like other eco-criminals at corporations they probably scoff at while snorting blow and staples off the toilet tanks at The Comet, they are horribly guilty.

d) These companies' stances are, "Lawyers first, ask questions / use common sense later." See the last point about huge corporations.

e) From personal experience, the postering companies have exactly ZERO quality control mechanisms in place to ensure that what they've been paid to do actually gets done. What stops these thugs from taking the 500 posters you have delivered to them and throwing them in the trash and getting high or hosting a staple-encrusted circle jerk with the rest of the staff instead? That's right - nothing. See the discussion about huge corporations, above.

f) Yeah, the fucking Alaska Airlines Concert Series really needs to be advertised. All my crusty punk friends on the Hill really need to know when Travis fucking Tritt or some other overly polished douchebag is coming to town.

g) Feel free to threaten or menace anyone carrying a hammer stapler who isn't working for your fucking company. We're already cold, wet, and pissed off trying to keep up with your worthless asses. Bring it.





Posted by Defend Capitol Hill | June 7, 2007 9:23 PM

here's the deal ...

when steven left for neumos, chop suey was destined to fail. period. everyone in town doubted colin's ability to keep that club relevant in his wake, and he not only did that, he built on what steven did and gave it a more defined identity.

i'm just a lowly intern, but it sounds like john vilisec is a huge practitioner of cocksuckery

Posted by Paul Broderson | June 8, 2007 1:02 AM

wait, so let me get this straight...the club had been profitable under Colin ("stable and in the black"), when they fired him, yet not ENOUGH to warrant keeping him? sounds like somebody was getting greedy and could care less about music, Seattle in general, or anything Colin had done, they were trying to save a couple bucks...thanks Chop Suey, you just fucked yourself and all of us with your shortsightedness.

Posted by CS_SUXXX | June 8, 2007 2:40 PM

For starters, I am almost positive that its over the beef with postergiant. Doug Cox has 100% made ultimatums against Colin and Chop Suey over a dumb-ass rivalry with poster midget. Mainly over the club pop shows and its main guy, Clayton. But, in all honesty, Chop Suey is a piece of shit, and so is the entire music scene in Seattle.

Everyone here cares too much about the small stuff. Grow the fuck up kids. Your scene is doomed, no matter who has beef with what, or who works where.

Posted by FUCK SEATTLE | June 14, 2007 12:18 PM

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