Knicks owner James Dolan sat down for a Q&A with the New York Post's Mike Vaccaro, and the two men talked about everything from the team to Dolan's lifelong love of music. Actually, they talked about music a whole lot, because that seems to be all James Dolan wants to talk about.
The whole thing starts out kind of weird, with Vaccaro concerning himself with Dolan's side hustle as a shitty blues musician:
You rarely hear him. On occasion, he offers brief remarks at press conferences. You can hear him sing, if you catch his band at a club. But it had been seven years since he sat down for an on-the-record interview about the Knicks and Rangers. He agreed to meet with The Post this week, inside a Madison Level suite at the Garden.
But before we begin, it may help to hear something he had to say about music, his first love, a subject that not only fills his recreational hours but also infuses much of how he feels about his day job, too. And may inform what his expectations for his sporting teams are, and how he wishes they'd be achieved, as well as anything:
"I don't play any solo stuff in my band," he said. "I CAN solo. I can play the stuff and if you heard it you might think it's OK, pretty good. But the other guitar players in my band — one of whom is my son [Aidan] — are much, much better guitar players than I am. To put the best sound out there, they play the solos."
Please kindly leave the rest of us out of your midlife crisis, Jim.
The interview proceeds normally from there, with Dolan coming off maybe a little more sensibly than you would expect on the topic of the Knicks. And then, suddenly, we swerve into this:
MV: How important is music to you? Obviously you have the band [J.D. and the Straight Shot], you've been trailing the Eagles, you've opened for them. How much of that defines you?
JD: You are not what you own. Music is a big piece of who I am. I don't own music. I create music, and I play it, but I do not own it. So if you want to get to know me, you'll see music as a big piece of who I am.
MV: The Eagles come to you and say, "Come on up and play one song with us." Which song do you pick?
JD: Whoa … I love so many Eagles songs …
MV: That's the curveball question
JD: They start off their show with a song called "Whatever Happened to Saturday Night" … maybe because I haven't heard it as much as others but I love that song. And it's just Glenn [Frey] and Don [Henley] sitting on amplifiers, playing guitars and to me that's how I grew up playing music.
Knicks fans, this exchange should worry you more than his letting Lin walk or his tossing Donnie Walsh out the window. Your team is owned by a guy who says things like, "I don't own music. I create music," without a hint of irony. Your team is owned by a guy who loves the freaking Eagles.
But really, what the fuck? Why are we soliciting James Dolan for his tenth-grader-who-just-watched-Fight Club opinions on music and bringing up the Eagles for no good reason at all? What is going on here?
Update: Vaccaro refutes Isola's claim:
At this point in the Q&A I just wanted Dolan to start talking about something, anything, that didn't have to do with shitty music. Even the plight of the Knicks City Dancers would be more interesting.
MV: There seems to be some question about the future of the Knicks City Dancers …
JD: Now you know why my band doesn't play Madison Square Garden (laughs).
But maybe we're being unfair. Maybe this interview is more revealing than Isola is giving it credit for. After all, while plenty of people like an Eagles song or two, only a certain kind of man would profess to love their limp, edgeless, sunblasted, coked-out, radio-ready, faded-laminated-menu-in-a-bad-roadside-Denny's kind of music. The legacy of the Eagles is that you can throw lots of money and lots of talent at the problem and still produce a lot of soft-rocking crap. As of today, the $86 million Knicks are 3-8.