In what is being referred to by some locals as a textbook example of a happy accident, East Nashville residents have unintentionally but successfully lobbied to ban the Grammy Award-winning band Train from their neighborhood. A Metro Council resolution approved last Tuesday effectively prohibits the rock group from performing, being played, or (under some interpretations of the statute) even speaking in any East Nashville neighborhood.
The origin of this surprisingly fortuitous law is rooted in an effort to create “Quiet Zones” throughout East Nashville, in which locomotive horns could not be utilized as trains approach railroad crossings. The grassroots movement has been met with a mixture of both support and resistance by area residents; opponents cite concerns over safety if trains aren’t allowed to sound their horns near crossings, while supporters cite the dangers to the auditory health and quality-of-life for those regularly subjected to the often 90+ decibel sounds.
However, leaders of the movement to silence the locomotives admit that failure to properly proofread their proposed legislation has led to an entirely different outcome. “We probably could’ve chosen our wording a little more carefully,” noted East Nashville resident Alisha Manzell. “Law is a very literal field, and things like nuance and intention ultimately don’t count if they aren’t spelled out on the page. While we’re upset that we’ll still be hearing horns at crossings for the foreseeable future, most of us are taking heart in the fact that our efforts weren’t wasted and that we’ve still managed to achieve some real good for the community. Tonight, our friends and neighbors can rest easy knowing that they’ll never again be subjected to ‘Drops of Jupiter’ or ‘Hey Soul Sister’ in their homes and local businesses. True, that’s not what we specifically were aiming for, but it’s still a huge win.”
Under the terms of last week’s legislation, members of the San Francisco-based rock group Train are effectively banned from the entirety of East Nashville. Though the law does not specifically prohibit the musicians from entering the area itself, they are legally restricted from “creating any disruptive sounds” in Five Points, Lockeland Springs, East End, Shelby Bottoms, Cleveland Park, Inglewood, or any other area neighborhood. While Manzell says that “this essentially means they couldn’t have a concert here, and nobody is allowed to play their albums”, legal experts were quick to note that a strict interpretation of the law could also even prohibit band members from speaking, if their speech were to be considered disruptive.
Area resident Hansen Phillips says he’s fine with that, too. “I met the lead singer once, and he just kept interrupting me the whole time. If he walks into Bongo East or Red Door and tries that s*** again, I’ll be more than happy to call the cops.”