James Dolan is coming to grips with his friendship and longtime business relationship with Harvey Weinstein and doing it on his own terms, skipping a press statement and instead turning to rhythmic harmonies and soft backing vocals.
The MSG Chairman and CEO is also a touring musician who has opened for business partner and music manager Irving Azoff’s top acts including The Eagles, Chicago and the Doobie Brothers. Now Dolan is using his music to deal with guilt about his relationship with Weinstein and his interactions with the Rockettes as part of a reboot of the famous dancer’s spring show in 2014.
Dolan and Weinstein enjoyed a long friendship and Dolan even sat on the board of the Weinstein Company for one year. Weinstein was hired by Dolan to produce part of the reboot of the Rockettes spring/summer show in 2014, which after some delays kicked off a year later to tepid reviews. A NY Daily News article said the production was happy to be rid of Weinstein who dancers allegedly described as a “creepy old man” adding the famous dancers were “relieved he won’t be standing in the back of the dark theater taking notes.”
Dolan’s new song doesn’t specifically reference Weinstein, but describes a “friend” with whom he would “talk for hours without end.” The song described a man who had many “girls who adored him” and “catered to his every whim” and advised “all he had to do was chose.”
From there the song heads in a darker direction, “I should’ve thrown myself across his tracks, stopped him from these vile attacks,” the song’s hook says. “We believed and didn’t see, through the lies he told us all, that led him to his endless fall, I should’ve known.”
You can listen to the song and a see a lyric video here.
Writing a song about his friend may be a cathartic experience for Dolan, but it’s unclear how the song will go over with New Yorkers considering the company’s strange relationship with Isiah Thomas, who went to trial in 2006 over harassment allegations and now serves as President of the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
“I Should’ve Known” is a deeply personal, yet detail-sparse account of “abuse by men in power” according to a press release with lyrics that “emphasize the importance of defending victims when they speak out and the need to be more vigilant in noticing of the signs of abuse.” Dolan’s vagueness about the song is likely in part due to a lawsuit he and other former Weinstein board members are facing from six alleged victims of Weinstein.
The song is not bad, but a full accounting of sexual harassment during Weinstein’s time at the company — as well as a through examination of harassment claims at other MSG-owned venues — would probably better serve the public.