April 24, 2007
By BRIAN McCOLLUM
FREE PRESS POP MUSIC WRITER
A pair of Detroit music institutions may join forces and reconnect a local superstar to his past.
Eminem’s manager, Detroit native Paul Rosenberg, is vying to lease and operate the St. Andrew’s Hall complex in downtown Detroit, sources familiar with negotiations told the Free Press this week.
Entertainment conglomerate Live Nation, which has owned and managed the venue since the late 1990s, has chosen not to sell the property, after quietly placing it on the market earlier this year.
But sources said the company is hammering out a deal with Rosenberg that will likely give him control of the hall’s liquor license and day-to-day operations. Live Nation would retain the property and rights to concert booking.
The deal, which may be completed next month, would run to several hundred-thousand dollars, said a source. Like others, the source asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of negotiations.
Spokesmen for both Eminem and Live Nation did not comment today.
The extent of Eminem’s potential involvement remains unclear. Michigan law does not allow liquor licenses to be held by convicted felons. Eminem pled guilty in 2001 to a concealed-weapon charge stemming from an incident at a Warren club; he’ll be eligible to expunge the conviction from his record in 2008.
St. Andrew’s Hall and its basement room, the Shelter, comprise one of the city’s longest-running live music venues. Best known for its alternative-rock bills in the ’80s and ’90s â€” it was often the first Detroit stop for up-and-comers such as Nirvana â€” the hall has increasingly embraced hip-hop and dance programming.
It’s also got a special place in Eminem lore: The theater was a site for many of the rapper’s earliest performances, and went on to be immortalized in the semi-biographical film â€œ8 Mile.â€
Contact BRIAN McCOLLUM at 313-223-4450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.