Jamestown Post-Journal - July 17, 1993

Maniacs Find Success At Home

by: Keith Lanigan; page 1

The rock band 10,000 Maniacs always wanted to play at Chautauqua Institution, said bassist Steven Gustafson. Last night the band, and what realistically could have been an audience of 10,000 Maniacs, got its wish. The Jamestown band came home to close out its national tour at Chautauqua's Amphitheater; playing to sold out audience.

For Friday night's show, however, dancing was a priority, and the Institution complied with the fans' need for space by removing the benches in the lower half of the Amphitheater. "I hope you all brought your dancing shoes, because they had to tear out the benches," Gustafson said. The Amphitheater's seating capacity is normally 5,500, but the crowd size swelled more than that number, pushing people to the outer walls and on to the Institution grounds.

As the pre-concert energy began peaking Institution President Daniel L. Bratton called the night an "exciting" homecoming for the Maniacs, as well as the gathering crowd. "I think the fact they're home town folks makes it all the better," Bratton said.

After the acoustic folk/rock duo John and Mary opened the show the 10,000 Maniacs offered their own tributes to the city of Jamestown and Chautauqua County by offering the citizens platinum medal plaques of their compact disc Our Time in Eden. The disc attained platinum status for selling more than one million copies. Jamestown Mayor Carolyn Seymour and County Executive Andrew Goodell accepted the plaques on behalf of the citizens. Keyboardist Dennis Drew handed over the plaque to Goodell, whom he said is "the executive of our own personal Eden, Chautauqua County."

"I'm really proud when a local group (like the 10,000 Maniacs) gets international attention," Goodell said. Pointing to the, plaque, Goodell said, "this will stay with the county forever."

Goodell recalled that it was he who incorporated the band's name when the Maniacs were just starting out in the early 1980s. "I knew they didn't have much money, so as part of my fee I wanted a copy of their next album," he said. Time passed, however, and the Maniacs became a world renown act. So when Goodell finally got a chance to ask for the copy of that "next" album "I never dreamed I'd get a platinum album," he said.

Following the end of this national tour and a benefit show slated for July 26 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the Maniacs intend to take a hiatus of unknown duration. They also plan to put out an album of MTV Unplugged performances in October.

The tour began in November, with performances in many major cities, including a show at President Clinton's Inaugural Ball in January.