The Hero of Hype
Meet the middle-aged ex-con from farm country who is also New York City’s most exuberant live music promoter.
When I was on my way out of the pizza place, David Tanner motioned me toward his 2002 white Ford Explorer and asked me to get inside. I sat in the front passenger seat with my backpack at my feet and he turned the car on, inserted a disc into the CD player and asked me to listen with my imagination–to hear everything that could become of the song he was about to play. A powerful female voice burst through the speakers. He stared straight ahead; the streetlight found its way through the windshield and bounced off his iris, setting him and his vision for the music aglow. He was still glowing when the car started moving as he drove me to the nearest subway stop. I could see his eyes smiling in my peripheral as he told me that what we were listening to was only a demo and that I needed to see the group live. I could sense his excitement emanating from everywhere, even his blanched knuckles as they gripped the steering wheel.