Did ASCAP/BMI only just then begin enforcing on venues & bars? Pregnancies & STDs put too many fans on the bench? Nirvana & Britney Spears? I'm sure it wasn't just one thing, but a collection of factors that would take down an industry which had been vibrant throughout the country for decades. I'm just curious.  lots of good posts, but quite a few from people who demand a definition of "functional local music scene". A lively local Music Scene can support at the absolute least twenty bands and with each band member and >40 regular first call subs being able to feed, house, insure, and transport a family of four while also contributing a sensible amount to a retirement savings account while employed exclusively as a musician.