Wake-Up Call: Aspen's "Big Money" mess

Forget Charlie Sheen. The biggest scandal in Aspen these days involves Dan Sheridan, a 44-year-old singer musician who's lived in that mountain town more than twenty years, doesn't like some of the changes he's seen, and describes them very eloquently in his song "Big Money."

But while Sheridan croons that he "won't give up on this town/Won't give up on my friends," Aspen Skiing Co., which owns Sneaky's, the club where Sheridan was singing on New Year's Day when an Aspen veep heard the song, was ready to give up on him: Sheridan lost his gig.

Aspen Skiing Co. would probably like to ban Secrets of Aspen from the VH1 schedule, too.

When the public -- what remains of it in Aspen -- protested, Aspen Skiing reconsidered, and said it would welcome Sheridan back at Sneaky's. Although he may not be allowed to sing "Big Money."

So, for the record, here are the lyrics too shocking for corporate Aspen:

Well I was walking my dog down the old walking trail When I ran into a post-it sign of pending future sale Some mogul who feels he should Build a mansion in the mountains his cabin in the woods They come here from Miami They come here from LA They bring a part of the city, that'll never go away Like a fear of strangers, accelerated time Sound of car alarms in a town without crime Like plain wooden fences, controlled security Setting up borders where they never used to be Down in the graves you can hear the miners say Big money ruins everything

Well it happened in Aspen And down in Santa Fe It happens everywhere when the locals move away They can't afford to live here, they can't afford the rent Unless they win the lottery or live in a tent I think big money sucks Please write that down Please take a look what it did to this town Trophy houses, trophy wives, trophy people leading trophy lives Down in the graves you can hear the miners say Big money ruins everything

Say goodbye to all the artists and people who can ski Say hello to private golf clubs and elective surgery Well I think I'll build a billboard At the entrance of this town If you're here to prove how rich you are Please just turn around Please turn around, high tail and run You've probably already ruined where you're coming from

So I went into the hardware store But it has been replaced By a boutique for trophy wives With a reconstructed face And it only sells handbags Stuff you'll never need Like fine Italian shoes And tasteful jewelry So we blame it on the landlords Blame it all on greed Blame it on the excess Of the nouveau riche Down in the graves you can hear the miners say Big money ruins everything

How did this happen How did it occur Women driving Hummers Men wearing fur Now I sing at corporate parties Make 'em feel like a kid Because I play acoustic guitar Just like John Denver did But they don't listen to my words Words that I'm singing I'm here to fill the void Between cell phones ringing

I recently found a letter That I wrote to myself Said Man if you get old and bitter Better move somewhere else I ain't going nowhere Won't give up on this town Won't give up on my friends Who somehow stick around Down in the graves you can hear the miners say Big money ruins everything Big money ruins everything

Women at the Caribou With liposuction hips And in the name of balance They re-inflate their lips Down in the graves you can hear the miners say Big money ruins everything Big money ruins everything Big money ruins everything Big money ruins everything

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