Local Current Blog

Duluth music advocate Rick Boo dies at 60

Rick Boo. (Carmody Irish Pub via Facebook)

Members of the Duluth music scene are mourning the loss of one of its key members. Rick Boo, co-owner of Carmody Irish Pub and Brewing, died of an undisclosed cause on Aug. 28. To those who knew him he was a champion for the Duluth music scene and an advocate local artists just starting out.

As the Duluth News Tribune notes, Boo’s involvement in the Duluth music scene dates back as far as the early ’80s, when a teenage Boo had to ask the drunken Replacements to step down from the Saints Roller Rink stage. Outside of his work at Carmody, Boo also played a big role in helping to start the city’s Homegrown Music Festival and revitalizing the NorShor Theatre.

Margie Nelson of Duluth was a close friend of Boo’s. Spending time with him every week at Carmody, she saw the impact Boo had on the local music scene first hand, even if she said it wasn’t always obvious. “Every community has their quiet advocate and he was that for Duluth,” Nelson said. “He truly made a difference for so many people in the community.”

“When the NorShor started there was nowhere else for musicians to get their start,” she said. “A lot of musicians were able to in that space. He was incredibly kind and generous and would give people the opportunity to do their best.”

A public memorial will be held at Carmody Irish Pub on Sept. 3 at 4 p.m.

Simone Cazares is a student at Metropolitan State University. Originally from Miami, Fla., she survives Minnesota’s cruel winters by immersing herself in the Twin Cities music scene.