President, Rocker, Sonics Fan

August 17, 2007 4:16 PM

Behold the President of the United States of America.

One of them, at least.

Seattle's Dave Dederer, a veteran of the rock band the Presidents of the United States of America, is someone who knows a lot of rock and rollers, and a lot about Seattle. At this tough juncture for Seattle basketball, the lifelong Sonics fan checks in.

Now that you're not on tour day in and day out, what are you up to?
I still help manage The Presidents' business, and I'm enjoying a string of "real" jobs. Right now I'm at Melodeo, a Seattle digital media startup, where we just launched, which is a super-cool music discovery and place-shifting tool ... find new music, play your iTunes library on any computer and lots of phones, share music with friends, etc. For the last few years before this project, I was a senior account executive with Pyramid Communications, a public affairs firm in Seattle that deals only with progressive issues and clients. I'm having fun. I like having an office to go to every day, people to collaborate with, the whole world of trying to grow a business. I like to create things, push up against challenges.

Dave DedererMostly, though, I spend time with my family. We have two young daughters and everything pretty much revolves around making that a satisfying experience for our whole family. And I ride my bike to work just about every day and on the weekends. It's reasonable to say that I'm obsessed with bicycles.

You are a long time Seattle resident. What kind of love, if any, do you have for the Sonics?
That's a deep question. On the one hand, the Sonics are an integral part of me and my growing up. I went to many, many games in the 70s and early 80s. My dad took me and my sister out of school to go watch the downtown victory parade when they won it all in 1979. The Presidents did a Sonics theme song in the mid-90s, and we also have performed post-game a few times in recent years. On the other hand, the NBA in general hasn't excited me much in the last 10 years, primarily for three reasons: One, I don't like the "give it to the superstar and clear out the middle" offensive game that so many teams seem to rely on. Two, the officiating is blatantly skewed to favor major-market teams, especially in the playoffs. And three, there's too much noise and hullaballoo at an NBA game these days -- I just want to watch the damn game and talk to whoever it is I came with, not listen to a bunch of loud music and see videos and watch dancers.

Seattle is well-represented on the rock scene, and I understand that basketball has a place in the heart of Seattle rock and rollers. Can you confirm this?
Indeed. Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament has been a season ticket holder and courtside fixture for many seasons. For some reason, lots of the rock and rollers around here are also big sports fans. Or at least Sonics and Mariners fans. It also helps that you can sometimes pull a little rock and roll juice to get comped good seats -- that makes the whole thing more fun.

I know some activists are battling valiantly to keep the Sonics in town, but as a very socially aware guy, what's your take? Give the sports fans the team they love, or demand a better stadium financing model that better reflects taxpayer priorities?
Seattle does not need the Sonics to boost economic growth, and we've already spent way too much on our arenas in the last 10 years. At this point, our major sports franchises need the city and county much more than we need them. Frankly, my fantasy is that the Sonics, Seahawks and Mariners all move away and we're left with Husky football and a AAA baseball club. That would be perfect in my book.

What do you think the mood is in Seattle generally? Is there enough public and political will to keep the team there? (I'll tell you one thing the activists have going for them: Clay Bennett could hardly play the role of villain any better.)
Here come the Okiesonics.

(Photo courtesy of Dave Dederer) 

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