(photo from Sue Miller Tweedy’s Facebook Page)
Sue Miller Tweedy, former manager/booking agent/co owner of the (sadly now long defunct) Lincoln Park music venue Lounge Ax, talks about a new publication in the works. The Lounge Ax may be gone from the streets of the north side neighborhood, but a new version will soon be back forever in the pages of a time capsules of a book. She’s collaborating with others to create a historic and possible tell all book about the iconic venue.
Tweedy helped run the Lounge Ax for over a decade along with fellow co-owners Jennifer Fischer and Julia Adams. The iconic music venue closed it’s doors in January of 2000 right around the release of the John Cusack feature film, High Fidelity, which was featured prominently throughout the flick. A final lasting celluloid tribute to the great hall.
During it’s tenure, Lounge Ax hosted many important Alternative driven acts of the day including Phish (who played their first Chicago gig ever there), Smashing Pumpkins, Urge Overkill, Pavement, The Jesus Lizard, Material Issue, Replacements, Wilco, Liz Phair, The Coctails (who reunited for the final performance in the club), Pat McCurdy Monday Nights, Tortoise and many, many more.
So what happened? How could something this important and beloved by the Chicago music community go away? The main reasons; battling with new neighbors about noise complaints and legal mumbo jumbo. This new entity was intent on Yuppifing the neighborhood. A long battle that lasted a few years and went to court several times. After much time, effort and money went in to save it, nothing could be done. No matter how iconic of an institution or how many petitions where raised, along with the outcry from the music community, the doors closed permanently on January 15, 2000.
Sue Miller Tweedy’s not done with the club yet. It may not come back as a brick and mortar establishment, but at least the memories will stay alive and kicking. She’s looking for photos, flyers, posters and other relics to create a new Chicago music scene. Only this time to the line the pages of a book verses a Lincoln Avenue address.
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