Go-go music dispute in D.C. resolved after intervention from mayor, T-Mobile CEO

May 16, 2019 GMT

A dispute over loud “go-go” music cranked for years from outside a cellphone store in D.C. was resolved Wednesday after attracting the attention of telecom mogul John Legere and Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Mr. Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile USA, said that a Metro PCS store located on a corner in the Shaw neighborhood of the capital’s bustling U Street corridor will be allowed to resume playing the music indigenous to D.C, publicly intervening in a local squabble that erupted after the shop’s owner said recently that he was told by corporate to bring his speakers inside to avoid litigation.

“I’ve looked into this issue myself and the music should NOT stop in D.C.,” Mr. Legere wrote on Twitter. ”@TMobile and @MetroByTMobile are proud to be part of the Shaw community - the music will go on and our dealer will work with the neighbors to compromise volume.”


Mr. Legere’s announcement concurred with a press conference held outside the store on the corner of 7th Street and Florida Avenue NW, where local residents and politicians in attendance applauded the businessman’s decision to heed the complaints of neighbors upset by the music abruptly becoming inaudible last month.

Donald Campbell, the shop’s owner, said earlier this week that he was asked by T-Mobile to bring his speakers inside after the company received a legal threat from someone claiming to be a resident of a nearby upscale apartment complex, The DCist first reported Monday.

The shop opened in 1995, and for years Mr. Campbell has played music from the speakers to advertise go-go albums sold inside so much so that the recent stoppage spawned a petition signed more than 60,000 times as of Mr. Legere’s announcement.

“I’m with you,” Ms. Bowser, a Democrat, said Tuesday on Twitter. “Sign the petition,” Ms. Bowser said in a tweet that included the ”#DontMuteDC” hashtag and a link to the campaign.

Music resumed outside the store early Wednesday afternoon, The DCist reported.

A subgenre of funk, go-go developed around the nation’s capital in the 1970s and yielded acts including Grammy Award nominee Chuck Brown, Trouble Funk and Rare Essence, among others. The city block containing the MetroPCS store was designated “Chuck Brown Way” for the musician prior to his death in 2011.