I'm sorry, Mr. Shivelbine

Friday, August 17, 2007

OFF Magazine has caused quite a stir, again.

I'll give you some context. First, a primer on OFF Magazine for those of you who don't know what it is. OFF is a monthly entertainment-based publication, created right here in the pristine setting of the Southeast Missourian offices. It's geared toward more of the young, rock 'n' roll type of crowd, so we heavily cover things like the River City (formerly City of Roses) Music Festival. That being said, OFF printed its last issue in August, so you won't see it around anymore. We're transitioning to a weekly magazine called SE Live, taking the best of the Arts & Leisure section and OFF Magazine and adding a few other things to spice it up. That's going to hit the streets Sept. 6. Look for the insert in your Southeast Missourian.

In the August issue of OFF we printed excerpts of an interview Randy Mallett of Banned Promotions conducted with Bob Camp -- local musician, former manager of The Camp music venue and co-founder of the City of Roses festival. We had to edit the interview to fit in the space we have, so you can't read the entire thing in the magazine, and it's come to my attention that Camp says some of the cutting took things in the interview out of context.

We're sorry about that, Bob. That wasn't our intention.

But something else has come to my attention, as well. In the interview, Camp takes a shot at Bill Shivelbine, owner of Shivelbine's Music, who was also in on the festival in those early days. Basically, Camp said Shivelbine took over the festival after that first year, cutting him out of the picture entirely.

Since I've known him, Camp has always seemed to be the kind of guy who speaks his mind (he also helped a lot of local musicians get started), regardless of the consequences. I should have thought about those consequences, but I didn't.

Apparently the interview has attracted quite the attention among local musicians, and Shivelbine himself, who understandably isn't happy. I offer my sincere apologies to both parties.

I can't say what transpired between Camp and Shivelbine back in those early days of the music festival. What I can say is what I know about Shivelbine since I've been here at the Southeast Missourian.

You might not know it, but if you're a local music fan, you have a lot to thank Shivelbine for. For one, he deals straight up to the musicians who purchase from him, which is something you can't find in every music store. Without him, your favorite local band probably wouldn't sound nearly as good.

But probably even more important is Shivelbine's role in just about any Cape Girardeau music event outside a bar that you've ever enjoyed. Tunes at Twilight, Libertyfest, ArtsCape, the City of Roses -- year after year, Shivelbine has played an integral part in these events. The music store owner consistently volunteers his own time and his store's equipment, free of charge, to the organizers of the events, and never asks for any credit. He does these things simply for the love of music and the desire to see that which he loves succeed in his hometown.

Last year Shivelbine was given the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri's highest honor: the Otto Dingeldein Award, which every year goes to one or two individuals who have shown their overwhelming value to the local arts community. If you ask me, and many other people, Shivelbine's selection last year was a no-brainer. Of course, anybody who knows Shivelbine knows he's never been one for recognition. Here's what he told me when he won the award.

"I don't feel like I deserve it, I just do what I feel like I can do, and if I can help the community in such a way musically, I'm here to do what I can do," he said.

Like I said, I don't know what happened between Camp and Shivelbine all those years ago. No one but Bill and Bob themselves do, I'd wager. But I made a mistake by bringing those personal things into the public sphere by printing them in our magazine. The intention was never to make Shivelbine look bad, just to give one of the City of Roses festival's founders a space to give his opinions on the festival today. In hindsight, that opinion could have been given without getting personal.

So, to both Bill and Bob, sorry. And if you read the OFF interview, just keep in mind how much Shivelbine has done for the local music community, and all he's done that you'll probably never know about.


335-6611, extension 182

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: