Tuesday, August 31, 2010
You can learn more about the band on their Facebook Fan Page.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
(All images and videos via: NYCDreamin Archives)
It was a beautiful day here in the Twin Cities yesterday with temps in the mid 80's, a perfect day to head over to the MN State Fair to see Rush. We left home about mid-afternoon and, as expected, the drive was a colossal pain in the ass. Road construction and heavy Friday afternoon traffic filled with texting and phone-call distracted drivers made the ride over to St. Paul a teeth grinding exercise in frustration with my fellow commuters.
We finally arrived in St. Paul, dropped the car off at a park and ride lot and hopped an express bus over to the fair. We had just over two hours until the Rush show started, so we walked around a bit, sampling some of the fair food. For me: A cheeseburger (horrible - $5.00) and a chicken/cheese/peppers & bean burrito (better than the cheeseburger but still not that great - it was cold - $6.00). For the Gorgeous one: A raspberry/whipped creme crepe (she said it was very good but the shell should have been cooked longer - $6.00), a hand-squeezed lemonade, and an order of loaded potato skins ("excellent," she said - $5.00).
While we were standing around and I was eating my tasteless cheeseburger, all of a sudden we could hear some music coming from the stage, which was not very far away. Rush was doing a soundcheck and it sounded great from where we were. Hearing them kind of ramped up our excitement level for the show a bit. After we had a bite to eat we decided to take a $3.00 ride across the fairgrounds on the Skyride, which is pretty much like a ski-lift that runs the length of the fairgrounds and affords riders with some excellent views of what is happening throughout the grounds. As we neared the end of our ride we rode past the grandstand and stage where the Rush concert was going to be held and I snapped a few photos...
Empty MN State Fair grandstands about an hour before the Rush concert, viewed from the Sky Ride.
Grandstands and stage, pre-show at MN State Fairgrounds, viewed from the Sky Ride.
The large State Fair stage as viewed from our seats: Upper Grandstand, Section F, row 28, seats 1 and 2.
Around 7:00pm, I had one last smoke and we headed into the grandstands to find our seats and settle in and wait for the band to come on. The show was scheduled to start at 7:30pm, which came and passed, and no Rush. I think they were waiting for the sun to go down a bit more before they started the show. With a light show like theirs, who can blame them? Or maybe they were having some birthday cake (more on this below).
A closer look at the stage, just a few minutes before the band came out.
Finally, around 7:50pm, the giant video screen on the stage came to life and the crowd was treated to another of Rush's very funny intro videos. As the video wound up a few minutes later, the band walked out on stage and began their set with the classic rock radio staple "Spirit Of Radio." It was kind of windy out with gusts up to 20MPH and at times the wind seemed to mess with the sound - it was like the sound levels were being tweaked at the soundboard but I think it was just the wind. Anyway, the band sounded great regardless as they plunged into a nearly 3-hour set of material spanning their entire career.
To the best of my memory, this was (most of) the setlist. Note: Some songs may appear out of the actual running order of the show:
Intro/Spirit Of Radio / Time Stand Still / Presto/ Stick It Out / Leave That Thing Alone / Working Them Angels / Faithless / BU2B / Caravan / Subdivisions / Tom Sawyer / Red Barchetta / YYZ / Limelight / The Camera Eye / Witch Hunt / Vityl Signs / Far Cry / La Villa Strangiato / Working Man
Intro/Spirit Of Radio
Time Stand Still
Stick It Out
Leave That Thing Alone
As we reported yesterday, this was also guitarist Alex Lifeson's 57th birthday. Before launching into a new song titled "BU2B", Geddy announced Lifeson's birthday to the crowd who clapped and cheered for the birthday boy. Geddy went on to say that the band and crew had all chipped in and bought something nice for Alex. He said they'd "spared no expense" Then this odd looking costumed guy starts walking across the stage, over to Lifeson and presents him with his "gift": Two MN State Fair staples, a foot-long pronto pup and a rather large looking pork-chop on a stick. Alex offered to share them with the rest of the band but they all decided they'd eat the food later and get on with the show. Geddy also mentioned that Alex had also celebrated his 21st birthday, 36 years ago, at the MN State Fair when the band played here back when they were just getting started. You can see all this hilarity ensue in the following video...
About an hour and 15 minutes or so into the show the band took about a 20 minute break. Literally thousands of people jumped up from their seats to grab more beer or t-shits or use the bathrooms. By this time the two guys sitting next to us had made numerous trips to the beer booths and the guy sitting right next to the Gorgeous One was becoming a bit of a problem.
I'm not one to stop people from rocking out and having a good time, but this guy was definately becoming more than a bit of a problem. When the band came back out to begin their second set of the evening, consisting mainly of material from 1981's "Moving Pictures" album, a few minutes later the Gorgeous One asked if we could switch seats. The dickhead next to hear was getting more animated and annoying by the minute. So we switched seats and within just a few minutes he was elbowing me as he air drummed and air keyboarded and air guitared. He'd stand up. Then sit down. Then stand up again. Then sit down again. Every time he moved he managed to elbow me or knock into me. Every few minutes he'd take a swig from a J.D. bottle he had along with him, because, apparently, the several beers he had weren't enough. I finally gave him my most annoyed look and said "Hey, dude. Settle down a bit and stay in your seat. Quit elbowing me and quit leaning over into my space." He seemed a bit shocked that I would say anything to him and turned away for a second then offered weakly, "Hey, man. I'm not touching you. I paid for my seat." To which I replied, "Stay in it then and quit leaning over and elbowing me and leaning into my space." He seemed most annoyed at my request and opened up his JD bottle again and swigged back a bit more. He calmed down for a few minutes then started in again with the air-drumming. I told him again, "Hey, fucker, knock it off. You're pissing me off." He mumbled something in response and then the guy behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said if I needed any help laying this guy out he'd be glad to help. I told him thanks, it's always nice when someone's got your back in a situation like this. Then the dick next to me started in on me: "Do you want a swig off this bottle, dude?" I declined, explained that I no longer drink, and that maybe he should give it a shot. Not only was he disorderly to the point of distraction, he absolutely reeked of booze. I think his JD intake is a daily thing - you don't smell like that from just one afternoon of boozing, he smelled like it was his daily modus operandi. Every once in a while for the rest of the show he would glare at me, trying to get me to throw a punch. I never did, but man, I wanted to so bad. He's lucky I'm not quick to throw a punch...he left with all his teeth still in his mouth.
Anyway, the band plowed through all of the songs on "Moving Pictures" including the final video I shot, one of my favorite Rush tunes, "Witch Hunt."
After the "Moving Pictures" segment of the show was over, the band continued to play to the sold out crowd that, according to the Star Tribune review of the show (see link below), numbered at 13,248. I figured the show was nearing the end, so, completely sick of the drunken asshole next to me who was still trying to get me to throw a punch, I told the Gorgeous One that we should get up and head down to the concession booths and grab a soda and have a look at the t-shirts. So off we went and while we browsed the merch booths the band finished up with amazing versions of "Far Cry", "La Villa Strangiato", and a playful version of "Working Man". They finally took a bow at around 10:45pm and left the stage as the throngs of Rush faithful began to leave the grandstands, heading back out into the promised land of cheese-curds, deep-fried candy bars and anything you can think of on a stick, that is the MN State Fair. A brief fireworks display capped off the evening.
We wandered around the fairgrounds a bit as we made our way back to the bus loading lot, trying to find something good to eat as we went, but we really couldn't decide on anything, so we just left, tired and ready to get home. Then there was the nightmare drive home...but you don't want to know about all that.
We'll have our chance to sample more (and hopefully better) fair food and more (probably not as good) rock and roll next Saturday, Sept. 4th, when Kiss brings it's current tour to the State Fair.
More on Rush at the Fair:
"Reliable Rush Dazzles The Faithful" - Mpls. Star Tribune
"No Nostalgia Act, Rush Is Still Relavent" - St. Paul Pioneer Press
More Reviews, Comments, Videos & Photos - RushIsABand.com
Friday, August 27, 2010
Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, looking very stylish indeed.
But you gotta cut the guy a bit of slack...it was the 1970's after all.
(Photo by: Kwasniewski/Star Photo - via: Circus Magazine: Date N/A)
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
According to the amazingly informative fan site RushIsABand.com, today is Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson's birthday, he turns 57 years old today.
Lucky him. He gets to spend his birthday in St. Paul tonight, at the MN State Fair. Of course, The Gorgeous One and I will be there, celebrating right along with him. I'll have details and (hopefully) some video of the show to share with you tomorrow.
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)
Big John Dickerson was another of the many talented blues artists on Cannonball Records back in the late 90's and early 2000's. As I've mentioned previously, Cannonball was owned and distributed by the company I worked for at the time, PaulStarr Distributing.
Some background information from his online bio:
In 1940, Big John Dickerson's musical career took off. Big John was born in Sandusky, Ohio where he was raised on blues and soul music. The magnitude of Big John's voice couldnt be contained by the street corners and local bars where he got his start. He began as a jazz drummer and singer. Over the course of Big John's storied career, he has worked with many musicians from various musical genres. The question is, "Who hasn't Big John Dickerson worked with?" Throughout over six (6) decades of music, Big John has played with many well known artists, including Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery, Jack McDuff and Stan Turrentine.
When you hear Big John Dickerson sing, you'll kick off your dancing shoes. He is a terrific performer, and entertainer, and is nicknamed the world's oldest teenager. When you're not dancing, you'll fall in love listening to his rich, deep, sexy voice. Every time he stands on stage, you'll think he's invited you to your own private party, just you and him. An experience in showmanship you won't soon forget.
I'd heard Dickerson's (then) new CD "In The Arms Of The Blues" a few times at work and when I found out his band was playing a free afternoon show at the MN State Fair I thought it might be nice if the girl I was then dating and I could attend. So we went and it was indeed a nice time.
There was another artist that opened the show - he was a middle-aged Native American guitarist/instrumentalist and he was very good. I just wish I could remember what his name was...
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I've been to a few concerts at the fair over the past 20 years. Last year at this time I put up pieces on Grand Funk Railroad & the Doobie Brothers (08/27/03) and Styx & REO Speedwagon (08/25/00). I actually had ads and ticket stubs for both of those shows to confirm the dates. This week I've been looking at a few shows that I've gone to that I cannot confirm the dates of as I no longer have or never had any documentation of the show like a ticket, ad, or handbill. The best listing of shows at the fair can be found HERE, every artist that has played the fair from 1962 - 2010. But they only list the year, not the exact date. So I managed to date this show to 1993 at least.
The show I'm talking about here was Hank Williams Jr. Now before you all crucify me, let me explain.
Back in the summer of 1993 I was living with some freinds of mine who shall remain nameless. My one buddy comes home one afternoon and says, "Hey, my cousin and her boyfriend are going to the State Fair tomorrow. They want to know if we want to go?" I'd never been to the Fair before, and I actually had a few bucks in my pocket at the moment, so I agreed readily enough. Back then I think the gate admission was $5.00. Now it's $11.00. Anyway, so he says, "yeah, but we're gonna be there late...they've (his cousin and her boyfriend) got tickets to see Hank Williams Jr. There was no way in hell I was gonna pay a dollar for a Hank Jr. ticket. My buddy says to me, "Hey, we can just wander the fair and the beer gardens while they're at the show." Back in those days I drank a few beers...and then a few more usually. So beers at the fair was the plan for the next day. And maybe a cheeseburger or two. And some corn on the cob. And nachos.
So the next day comes and we leave for the fair around 10:00am and plan to be there all day. Ate a bunch of food. Drank a bunch of beer. Had a pretty good time. By early evening, when it was time for my friend's cousin and her boyfriend to head over to the grandstand for the concert, we walked with them. They went in and my buddy, his girlfriend and I wandered over to the nearest beer sales booth and refreshed. We found a spot close by to have a seat and pretty soon as we were sitting there sipping our cold beers, we could hear the Hank Jr. concert starting. We could hear it really well actually. So we decided to hang out for a while and give our legs a rest...we'd pretty much been walking around the fair for about 8 hours at this point so it felt good to get a long rest. We sat and shot the shit and had a few more beers and just wound up staying near the grandstand for the duration of the show...so we heard it all. And you know what? He wasn't that bad actually. Maybe it was the beer, but he didn't suck. I'm guessing he's better live than on his albums. I've never listened to one so I wouldn't know.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
One of the things I really miss about working for an Independent Music Distribution company is the fact that every once in a while there would be some free concert tickets available. The company I worked for was called PaulStarr Distibution. This company did distribution for about 100 to 150 independent record labels and also had, as a side venture, it's own blues/jazz label called Cannonball Records. One of the artists on the label was Charles Walker and in 2000 Cannonball Records released his CD titled "Leavin' This Old Town." Shortly after the CD was released, Mr. Walker made a concert appearance at the Cabooze in Minneapolis. The promotions lady at Paulstarr/Cannonball made sure that anyone who worked for the company that wanted to go to the show had tickets or was put on the guest list. I asked to be put on the guest list and then "337" and I went to the show and enjoyed several free drinks with some of my co-workers as we listened to Charles Walker singing his smooth blend of R&B. Later in the evening, after his set was finished, Walker came over to our table and conversed with all of us and took the time to shake our hands, thank us for coming out and supporting him and signed an 8 X 10 for each of us.
I don't have the exact date of this show but if I had to guess I would say it took place sometime from August to October of 2000. There was also a special guest who opened up the show but I have no idea who it was...
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
"A dog dug up a bone and wagged it's tail.
I wonder how the dog...remembers Gail."
Love that line.
Was giving the Coop's 1987 release "Raise Your Fist And Yell" a spin at work yesterday and I thought this would make a nice, different than usual selection for today's "Tune For Tuesday."
Monday, August 23, 2010
One From The Archives: 08/23/08 George Thorogood and the Deleware Destroyers @ House of Blues, Chicago, IL
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Two years ago today my good buddy "337" found himself in Chicago for the day for some reason or another. When he discovered that Lonesome George Thorogood was making an appearance that night at the Chicago House of Blues he decided it was a no brainer and immediately picked up a ticket to the show. He said it was a great concert. "337" never saves his concert ticket stubs so when he asked if I wanted this one for "the archives" I said, "sure, what the hell?"
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Tickets for the St. Paul stop of the "American Carnage" tour, which was originally scheduled for February 4th, went on sale in early December. A limited number of $10.00 "Recession Buster" tickets were made available and I was determined to get a pair, so I was at Daytons waiting when the tickets went on sale. Mission accomplished: The Gorgeous One and I would indeed be seeing this amazing bill for the bargain price of $20.00 for both of us. Now we just had to wait until the show in February.
Print ad for the original show date of 02/04/10.
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
But in mid-January came news that the tour was going to be postponed. Slayer's Tom Araya had been having some back issues and needed immediate corrective surgery in late January. The surgery went well, Araya was soon on the mend and Slayer was soon back on the road, in Europe, headlining the Sonisphere festivals with the other "Big Three", Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. In the meantime, news came that the US "American Carnage" tour had been re-scheduled to take place beginning in mid-August. The St.. Paul date was re-scheduled for August 21st. We were advised to keep our original tickets as they would be accepted at the door, which was very nice that we didn't have to make an additional trip to St. Paul to exchange the tickets. A revised print ad soon appeared with the new show date:
(Revised print ad with new show date)
And so we waited a bit more. But the waiting finally came to an end yesterday when the tour rolled into St. Paul as scheduled. After the Gorgeous One got home from work, we piled into the rust bucket and cruised over to St. Paul for an evening of musical brutality at the hands of some of the men who invented the style. Before heading over to the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, we made a quick detour over to the Station 4 to pick up tickets for the just announced Triptykon show there on October 17th. Then we walked over to Mickey's Diner and stopped in and each of us had the bacon cheeseburgers and fries.
Bacon Cheeseburgers at Mickey's. Yes...they were as good as they look.
It was nearing 6:00pm as we finished off our meal, so we paid the bill and walked the few remaining blocks over to the Roy Wilkins and got in line for the show. The line was already very long and filled with over-zealous Slayer fans who'd been made to wait months and months for the appearance of their favorite band, but it began to move just a few minutes after we arrived and we were soon inside the Auditorium. We were supposed to be sitting in section 217 in the upstairs balcony. It was pretty early yet and there were, visibly, plenty of seats to choose from. I spotted a few empty seats dead-center, straight back from the stage and suggested we make our way to them instead. We sat down and agreed that we'd get up and move if the rightful owners of these seats ever came along to claim them. Fortunately for us, no one ever did, so we wound up with really great seats, straight back from the ominous looking stage.
Shortly after 7:00pm the house lights went down and a roar went up from the already sizeable and still rapidly growing crowd as the first band of the evening, Testament, came out blasing. Lucky for you, we brought our camera. And lucky for you, we were able to film Testament's entire set! So instead of reading some wordy, overly thought out review that I don't really feel like slaving away over anyway, just see for yourself what it was like:
I did the best I could - this concert was shot with a small Sony Cybershot 7.2 megapixel camera. We were seated in the upper deck straight back from the stage. The sound is pretty good actually but the video will go out of focus quite a bit from the strobe lights - it kept fucking with the focus. But overall I'm actually pretty happy with the videos from this show - I hope you enjoy them. If not, keep in mind, I don't claim to be a pro at this stuff...just doing the best I can.
08/21/10 Testament - Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul, MN
Intro/More Than Meets The Eye
Dog Faced Gods
The New Order
Trial By Fire
The Persecuted Won't Forget
3 Days In Darkness
The Formation Of Damnation
HOLY SHIT! Did you SEE that mosh pit at 3:45?!? Crazy! Back in the day I would have loved to have been right down there for that but last night The Gorgeous One and I both agreed that we were glad to be in the upper deck. Yeah...Testament. Fucking brutal. One of the best.
Then, after a somewhat brief set change, the place was buzzing with anticipation of the next band, NOT a favorite of ours though, Megadeth. As everyone around us seemed very excited to see them I told J. that it was a good thing they were playing "Rust In Peace" in it's entirety because those are the best Megadeth songs. I was a big fan for a few years but then they lost me sometime around the early 90's when they were doing hat "Symphony Of Destruction" crap. This was the second time I've seen them live. I will admit: They were good. They were good last time I saw them. They were not great or brutal or anything - just good. But I just don't like 'em, OK? But most of the people there seemed to enjoy it. I just don't get it. Anyway, their set consisted of every song on the aforementioned 20-year old thrash metal classic "Rust In Peace" album and a handful of others including the requisite "Peace Sells (But Who's Buying?)" from the album of the same title.
Megadeth finally got the hell off the stage and the lights came up and a large white curtain descended across the front of the stage.
Set change...blah blah blah.
Half an hour later the lights go down. The chant begins...slay-er. slay-er. slay-er.
It begins to intensify as it makes it's way across the auditorium...Slay-er! Slay-er! SLAYER! SLAYER! FUUUUCKKKIIINNNGGG SSSSSSLLLLLAAAAAYYYY---EEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRR!
08/21/10 Slayer @ Roy Wilkens Auditorium, St. Paul, MN
Intro/World Painted Blood
Spirit In Black
Dead Skin Mask
Born Of Fire
Seasons In The Abyss
In case you didn't catch what they were doing there, they opened with two tracks from the 2009 CD "World Painted Blood" and then followed those with every song from their 1990 classic "Seasons In The Abyss". I managed to get the entire set of songs from the "Seasons" set before the camera finally crapped out. The band raged on for some time after completing the main part of the set, winding things up with killer renditions of "Angel of Death" and "Reigning Blood" that I really wish I'd been able to get video of.
I'd been saying for years I thought Slayer and Testament would make an amazing billing together. I finally got my wish and it's too bad that it had to be diminished somewhat by the appearance of Mustaine and company, but other than that it was an amazingly heavy evening.
*Check out Chris Riemenschneider's (surprisingly positive) day after review of the show and a slide-show of photos over at StarTribune.com.
*Another review of the show is up now over at RobotPanic.com.
* Update: 07/20/13 - 10:45am Full Slayer Set Video:
Saturday, August 21, 2010
...because we'll be at THIS:
We've had tickets for this show since last December so we're pretty excited to finally see this one. More tomorrow.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Max's Kansas City 2010 Alumni Reunion Party
Artwork by: Shari Saffioti
In case you missed our post the other day about all the Max's Kansas City goings-on that are about to commence in NYC...check it all out HERE. If not just enjoy the artwork here and hope you can figure out a way to get your ass to NYC in September.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Time: 6 :00 PM
Cover Charge: $18 advance / $22 door
Description: TRIPTYKON, 1349, Yakuza, Enshrined
...I think I might go.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Celebrate Max's Kansas City Memories In September With A New Book Release And Gallery Exhibitions and Concerts In New York City
*Thanks to our esteemed colleague Karate Boogaloo over at Stupefaction for passing along some great news earlier today for all you Max's Kansas City fanatics.
As we've been excitedly reporting here for some time now, an eagerly anticipated new book about the Max's Kansas City experience, titled "Max's Kansas City: Art, Glamour, Rock and Roll," will be released by Abrams on September 1st. You can wait and pick up a copy at your local bookstore, or you can pre-order a copy now direct from Abrams, or at Amazon.com.
To celebrate the release of the book, edited by Steven Kasher, there will be a few exciting events coming up shortly for those of you in the NYC area or who are able to travel in September.
On September 15th, there will be a reception and book launch party from 6:00 - 8:00pm at the Steven Kasher Gallery, located at 521 West 23rd Street. The party also marks the beginning of a 3-week long Max's Kansas City photo and art exhibition at the gallery as well, which runs from 09/15/10 - 10/09/10. Regular hours at the Kasher Gallery are Monday through Friday, 11:00am to 6:00pm for those who may be interested in viewing the exhibition. The exhibition will feature over 150 vintage and limited edition photographs, and monumental sculptures and paintings by the inner circle of Max's artists, including John Chamberlain, Forrest Myers, Larry Zox, Neil Williams, and Andy Warhol. A highlight will be Myers's recreation of his famous laser/jukebox installation.
Also on September 15th, another Max's exhibition, "Artists at Max's Kansas City 1965 - 1974: Hetero-Holics and Some Women Too," opens within walking distance of the Kasher Gallery, taking place at the Loretta Howard Gallery, located at 525 West 26th Street. Per the Loretta Howard press release: "In this exhibition we attempt to recreate with curatorial accuracy the art that hung in Max’s and that artists traded with Mickey for bar tabs. Increasingly this art is seen to rank with the most extraordinary periods of history in centuries." This project has been organized by Maurice Tuchman for Loretta Howard Gallery.
AND...as if that were not enough, there's even MORE!
Details have been announced about the "2010 Max's Kansas City Alumni Reunion" on the groups Facebook page HERE. This September three-night, open to the public event, promises to be one hell of a party where you are sure to rub elbows with plenty of the original Max's crowd and hear stories only they can share. If you can hear them speaking above the music that is.
Things kick off on September 10th and continue on the 11th with two nights of music and schmoozing at the Delancey Lounge, located at 168 Delancey Street. Peter Crowley (if you ask "Who?" you're reading the wrong blog - beat it!) says of this event: "I can't emphasize too emphatically the fact that this event will probably draw more people than can fit in The Delancey. Please don't plan to be fashionably late, 'cause you might not get in, and for sure you'll miss the excellent headliners who are playing the early slots." So pay heed and get there early folks.
The lineup for the Delancey shows is as follows:
Fuse, Gari & Friends
Avant Duel /W/ Von LMO & Otto Von Ruggins
New York Junk
Ruby & the Rednecks
Sweetbryar & The Shivers/Five Points Band
Stop /W/ Mickey Leigh
The Bully's /W/ Joy Ryder
Then, on September 12th, the 2010 Max's Alumni Reunion takes the party over to Otto's Shrunken Head, located at 538 East 14th Street, to finish things off with one more night of music and mingling.
Frank Wood & His NYC All-Stars Band
Stumblebunny /w/ Chris Robison
Dirty & Naughty
King Bee & the Stingers
...ones head almost explodes with the excitement of it all. So if you're in New York City any time from September 10 - 15th, BE THERE! Or be a schmuck and just read about it later like the rest of us poor unfortunates who can not attend due to distance.
In a related note, Slayer makes a (long awaited) return to St. Paul this coming Saturday along with Megadeth and Testament. We hope to have some video from the show to share with you on Sunday.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Here's a cool piece of video from when he appeared for a multiple night engagement at Madison Square Garden in NYC back in June of 1972, his first shows in the city in 15 years.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
We found this beautiful framed print of the Chrysler Building at the Goodwill store in Shakopee, MN yesterday while we were out and about. It was a bit more pricey than I had hoped ($14.99) but I just couldn't leave it there for someone else to take home...I saw it and KNEW it belonged in OUR living room. It measures 15 1/2" wide X 39" high in the frame. It was a bit smudged up but after the Gorgeous One spent a few minutes cleaning it up it looked really nice. The photo here does not do it justice.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
A friend of mine turned me on to this a few years ago - I'd forgotten about it until recently.
Oh. And it has nothing to do with the Cro-Mags.
V.oluntary H.uman Extinction M.ovemenT.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
One From The Archives: 08/10/02 Flipp "Three Garage Tour" Gig #1 @ Private Residence, Minneapolis, MN
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
8 years ago today Flipp went on a tour: "The Three Garage Tour."
The tour started with a 12:00pm show inside the garage at the private residence of a fan/contest-winner in Columbia Heights, just north of Minneapolis. The not-quite epic road trek ended about 12 hours later with the band making a mess of The Red Carpet in St. Cloud (photos HERE). In between, there were two more concerts, both at private residences, both held in garages, one in the Twin Cities proper and the other at a residence in St. Cloud. I only found out about the "tour" the previous day when I spotted an article on Flipp in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. I would have followed the whole tour and went to every show but I had prior commitments, so I could only make it to the first show.
I got there a bit early as the band were still setting up equipment. The top photos shows what the scene at 2117 - 39th Avenue NE looked like just prior to the band kicking things off: Several kids milling about, anxiously awaiting the band's appearance. Curious passers-by stopping to see what all the commotion was about. People walking over to join in on the fun of a mid-day rock concert in their neighbors' garage.
Here's a shot of the scene near the front of the driveway - close to the "stage" on the floor of the garage. A few of Flipp's "people" were there handing out the pink, Flipp logo-embossed, "F.U." foam fingers you can see some of the kids sporting in the above photo. Somehow, I missed out and I never got one of those. I still want one.
The "concert" was maybe 45 minutes to an hour long. They had to keep it short, after all, this tour had 3 more stops to make...TODAY! But it was, make no mistake, a full-on Flipp concert experience. Just because it was in somebody's garage didn't mean they were going to play quietly, it was plenty loud. At one point, the kid whose garage it was got up and sang a song with the band. He looked to really be enjoying the fact that, for today at least, he was the coolest kid in the neighborhood.
I saw several people video-taping the show. No videos from this one up on YouTube yet though, or from any of the other "Three Garage Tour" shows for that matter. Damn hoarders, always keeping the good stuff for themselves.
Bassist Freaky Useless gives a video-taper dude the ultimate close-up.
This lady wandered over from down the street and seemed to have a really good time rocking out with all the kids. She even took a turn strumming a few chords on Brynn's guitar. Rumor has it she's the infamous "Rock & Roll Grandma."
All too soon the band finished the last song and they and their crew began immediately tearing down the equipment so it could be loaded up and transported to the next gig location.
One show down and three to go.
I was wishing I could follow the band around for the rest of the day, but I had a long road-trip ahead of me, so, with some regret, I hopped in the car and set off for my destination, humming a few Flipp tunes to myself as I drove down the road. Oh yeah, OH YEAH!
Thankfully, unlike those selfish video hoarding bastards, some of the people who took photos of the band while they were on tour that day have shared their images over at FlippCentral:
Steve F. - PHOTOS / Chas K. - PHOTOS / Izzy & John - PHOTOS
J. Knapper - PHOTOS / Lynn H. - PHOTOS / Matt A. - PHOTOS
Ken S. - PHOTOS (Set 1) / Ken S. PHOTOS (Set 2) / 93X - PHOTOS
And here is some additional reporting about the "Three Garage Tour":
Pollstar.Com - Flipp's Garage Tour
St. Cloud Times - Turn It Up: Flipp Set To Release New CD, Volume
One From The Archives: 08/10/97 Testament/ Strapping Young Lad @ First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Updated)
My well worn, 13 year-old Testament hoodie. I still wear this relic to a concert from time to time and it never fails to get compliments and praise from those who know that Testament is synonymous for "the heaviest of the heavy".
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
13 years ago today, I was at yet another Testament concert, this time at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis. We must have paid at the door because I do not (and never have) had a ticket stub from this show. Somehow, I also never managed to find a print ad for the show either. I must have missed picking up my copy of City Pages that week.
Strapping Young Lad was the support band, and I'm pretty sure there was a third, local band on the bill but I have no idea who it was. "337" and I spent most of Strapping Young Lad's set upstairs drinking beers and playing a beat-up old Galaga video game. When SYL finished playing, we ventured back downstairs and pushed our way up as close to the stage as we could get and waited for the real show to begin.
Testament were, of course, brilliant. There just aren't too many bands who can deliver an ass-kicking of sonic brutality like Testament. There's really nothing else to say about it, so I'll leave it at that.
So...live and learn.
I stated above that we spent the duration of Strapping Young Lad's set upstairs playing Galaga. Fact. I've always remembered the reason why to be that Strapping Young Lad were sucking big time...a bunch of noise. That was my take on it. Then. And I've always avoided this band like the plague ever since. Well fuckin' shame on me I guess!
I "discovered" Devin Townsend in the summer of 2014. In a big, big way. The guy is a musical genius. Imagine my surprise when I learned in short order that he was the fuckin' spaz-case leader of...Strapping Young Lad. So I've been revisiting them lately, and discovered this gem of a video that was filmed at Pops in Sauget, IL...just three days after we saw them at First Avenue here in Minneapolis. So here is proof - they were noisy...at points. And some of this show does suck. But holy fuck can they tear it up too! There are points of absolutely beautiful musical devastation contained herein. I should have been paying attention a bit more I guess. Enjoy...if you can handle it.
Advance press is starting build for the highly anticipated upcoming book "Max's Kansas City: Art, Glamour, Rock And Roll" which will be released by Abrams Publishing on September 1.
If, like me, you want to take a peek inside the book before it is released...you are in luck. Vanity Fair.com has a piece up right now titled "They All Hung Out at Max's" that features a slideshow of 11 of the photos that will appear in the book.
We'll have more information about the book right here as the publication date draws near.
You Can Make The Video For Lazarus A.D.'s "Last Breath". Hey! Wait A Minute...Isn't That MY Video Footage?
So the submissions for the contest are coming in now and the band is posting them on their Facebook page. This morning, I'm checking out a contest submission by someone who goes by the name of "derncare" over on Youtube. And as I'm watching the video, I'm realizing...the live footage of the band in concert...is MY video?!?
Here is Lazarus A.D. in concert in St. Paul, MN 0n 03/14/10, performing the song "Last Breath." This is video I shot...
...and this (below) is "derncare's" submission for the Lazarus A.D. contest. If you watch closely, you'll notice the live footage of the band in the background looks pretty much exactly like what I filmed back in March.
I hope "derncare" wins the video contest.
If he does, maybe we can get joint custody of the guitar...
(UPDATE: 11/19/14 Now just checking back on the links to this post, I find the video "derncare" submitted has been set to "Private." So now we can't see his rip off of me. Nice.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Last Updated: 09/26/10
I remember record stores. I remember quite a few of them actually, they used to be all over the place. I even remember what records I bought at which store in a lot of cases. Sadly, these days, there are not nearly as many of the old record shops left around as there used to be. Twenty years ago, even small towns usually had at least a few places you could purchase records, 8-tracks, cassettes or CDs. Now, even in some bigger cities, this is not always the case; a lot of towns today have absolutely no place you can purchase pre-recorded music and that is a thought almost too horrible to think. Here then, are some of my memories about many of the record stores I've shopped at and spent innumerable hours browsing through over the past 30 years.
I was 7 years old in August 1977 when Elvis died. I was visiting my father and his second wife for the weekend and I remember my step-mom being pretty busted up over the news of E’s passing. When my dad brought me back home to my Mom’s at the end of the weekend, I found out she had gone out and bought me two Elvis records: (1) Elvis “Golden Records” and (2) Elvis "Live at Madison Square Garden". These were not the first records I had owned though. I had a few “cast-off” records I'd inherited from my mom. I remember one in particular had the novelty hit “You Can’t Rollerskate In A Buffalo Herd” on it and I loved that. And “Big Bad John”, I liked that one too. I guess I had a few Mama’s and Papa’s albums and I also had a few Jay and the Americans records that I liked very much. My Mom told me they had belonged to my Dad so I liked that fact, too.
But then Elvis died and I got the two above-mentioned albums. I thought they were great. I listened to them over and over again on the shitty little record player I had in my room. I don’t remember what brand the record player was, but it had these little flip-out speakers on the sides. A few weeks later (maybe a month or so – I’m not sure…I was only 7 after all) one of my cousins came over to my house and I was all excited to show him these cool Elvis records. When I did…he shot me down! “Elvis,” he says matter-of-factly with a look of disdain on his face, “he sucks! I’ll show you cool music when you come to my house next time.”
Anyway, I’m sure it was only a week or so, maybe even only a few days later that I found myself at my cousins house, upstairs in my other, older cousin’s room. He wasn’t there at the time but his brother had his permission to use the record player when he was gone. And my obviously more knowledgeable cousin held true to his promise...I was about to receive an education. “Still listening to Elvis?” he taunted me, “you should listen to this stuff!” And he proceeded to throw on a record and played some classics by Nazareth from their "Hair Of The Dog" LP (“Nowwww you’re messin with a….SON-OF-A-BIIIITCH!!!!”) and ("Cause it's BEGGEEERS DAAAY!!!"). And then…he put on a record that would change my life right there in that room.
I can’t even say for sure which Kiss album my cousin pulled from his older brother’s stack of records and put on first. My older cousin had several Kiss albums to choose from, he was obviously a big fan. My cousin showed them to me and he told me how awesome this band was and that THAT is what rock and roll is, “…not fucking Elvis, man!” my cousin says. And I’m looking at the record covers, (…remember I’m 7 years old, it’s 1977) and I’m thinking “Yeahhhh….he’s right. These Kiss guys are cool as hell!! Look at these guys and listen to that music! That some crazy shit!! Yeah!” And so it began…and so it continues.
So I could go on and on about how I became a huge, lifelong (sometimes willingly, sometimes begrudgingly) Kiss fan. But the story here is record stores after all, so let's get back to that topic.
After I found Kiss and found out they had several records released at that point (and more coming every 6 – 10 months in those days) I wanted them all. My parents bought me “Alive II” for Christmas in 1977. It was the coolest Christmas gift ever. Ever!!! I opened it up, knowing it was a record…but who was it? And I rip the paper off the thing and it’s this…monster. Kiss Alive II. 2LP, gatefold with THE greatest Kiss photo of all time in the center…an 8-page booklet of Kiss photos, and a sheet of temporary tattoos. Oh, and there was the obligatory “merch” order form – so you could more easily order even more Kiss merchandise or join the mighty Kiss Army…both of which I did in short order with savings from my meager weekly allowance. Suffice it to say that within no time I began to amass a large collection of Kiss stuff…and most treasured among my Kiss possessions were my records.
It took a few years, but I finally discovered that Kiss wasn’t really the only band on the block worth checking out so I soon began buying records by other bands as well. My parents loved to go to garage sales and I bought many, many albums for .10/.25/.50 cents back in those late 70’s-early 80’s years. While my parents were busy looking at old glasses and plates and antiques and such, I was busy scouring stacks of vinyl. .25 - .50 cents - that was definitely in my price range. I soon found myself with quite a nice collection of records, even some 8-tracks. My mom let me get a few Kiss 8-tracks ("Double Platinum" and "Destroyer") from her then-popular “Columbia House” record club (more about that later). But I also liked to go to town with my folks and browse through record store bins at the local drug store and the Ben Franklin shop.
Thus began my lifelong love of record stores. I’ve shopped at a quite a few over the years. Some good, some not so good. Some of them really great and some of them total shit. So I’m going to try to share as many memories as I can about all the places that I can remember purchasing music throughout the past 30-some years.
(Montgomery Ward logo image via Retro-HouseWife.com)
Late 70’s – Early 80’s (CLOSED)
This was the place my Mom met my step-dad back in the mid-1970’s. Mom was working in the catalog department and my future step-dad was working in the housing/gardening department. I remember going to the store on several occasions with one or both of them and lingering in the record section, checking out all the vinyl but always spending an extra amount of time looking at the Kiss records. It was the late 70’s and Kiss was nearly inescapable and they had a lot of Kiss records at “Monkey Wards”, as my step-dad called the place (I’m sure it’s where mom and my step-dad picked up my copy of Kiss “Alive II” they gave me for Christmas 1977) and I can remember staring at them in complete awe – wondering what musical treasures these unobtainable records held within their grooves. I didn’t have much money to buy records at this point, I was only like 8 to maybe 10 years old. But I could browse, and that was OK with me. And there wasn’t some annoying sales lady asking every 5 minutes “Can I Heeeelp you?” They left you the fuck alone in those days. I was young, but I remember that and I miss that. I remember a bit later, in the early 80’s, when cassette sales were coming on strong they would always have these budget bins full of discounted cassettes. I remember picking up some cool titles here by Deep Purple, live recordings on weird foreign labels that were selling for like $2.99 each.
Late 70’s – Early 80’s
Pamida was located just across the highway from the Brainerd Mall and Montgomery Wards. It was basically another, earlier version of K-Mart or Wal-Mart. They had Icees to sip on while you browsed a great selection of rock and roll magazines there as well as vinyl and 8-tracks. I can remember in particular purchasing many copies of “16” magazine and my 45RPM single of Ace Frehley’s “New York Groove” here, as well as a copy of Paul Stanley’s 1978 solo LP, which I found in a budget bin for I think $1.99 a few years after it was released. There were many other purchases made from the budget bins of vinyl at Pamida over the years, but I’ve long since forgotten what most of them were. A few Elton John LP’s maybe?
Mid 80’s – Early 90’s (Currently Open)
This place is still around in some form or another I guess, but it’s been years since I was in Brainerd to see for myself if they still sell music or not. A little further research on the old internet reveals that they do indeed still sell music, but they do not, apparently, have a website of any kind. But anyway, back in the day, the Gallery was the place to go in Brainerd to buy waterbeds, gag gifts, t-shirts and good music. I think they sold concert tickets there too. They always had a great selection of new and used vinyl and cassettes and CD as those mediums came along. You could also browse their huge selection of posters. I remember in particular picking up a copy of the Earache Records compilation cassette “Grind Crusher” here in the summer of 1991. It was the first time I’d heard any “Grind-Core” music. I can also remember picking up copies of cassettes by Saxon, Metallica, Savatage, and quite a few cheap, used vinyl titles when I’d find myself in Brainerd for whatever reason from time to time. I moved out of the area and the last time I shopped there was the summer of 1991.
Unknown Souvenir/Record Shop
Wisconsin Dells, WI
In the summer of 1979 my family went to the amusement and water parks at the Wisconsin Dells in central Wisconsin. I can remember walking into this one souvenir shop where they also sold vinyl LP’s. Upon entering the store it was impossible not to notice the entire wall full of copies of the latest Kiss LP, Dynasty. I mean there was literally a full wall of copies of the album, it looked very impressive to my young eyes. Being a rather new and young Kiss fan without much money, I immediately set about begging and pleading with my parents to buy me a copy. Of course, this did not happen. I think they were beginning to regret ever buying me a Kiss record at all by this point. With me, that’s all that was happening. Kiss, Kiss, Kiss. 24/7. Kiss. But we were on vacation and they had better things to spend their money on, like food and gas and lodging costs and boring realistic crap like that I suppose. I left the store disappointed and without my copy of Dynasty, but I have never forgotten what that wall full of copies of the album looked like or how excited I was to see it. I’d own a copy soon enough.
Former location of Rexall Drugs, on main street in Aitkin, MN. The place is now a law office.
(Image via: NYCDReamin Archives)
1978 – 1985 (CLOSED)
Just an average small town drugstore, this place was somewhere I’d go sometimes several times a week for several years. They had a nice selection of rock and roll magazines so I spent many hours there looking though all the magazines when I didn’t have any money for them and usually buying one or two when I did. I purchased many copies of Circus and Hit Parader here over the years. I can remember purchasing the LP’s Kiss (Music from) the Elder here, as well as Sin after Sin by Judas Priest. I may have even bought a few 8-tracks here back in the day but I’m not sure – I remember they did have them though. I remember spending money from some of my very first paychecks from my very first teenage janitor job here on cassettes – purchasing Scorpions “World Wide Live” and Ratt “Invasion Of Your Privacy”. They always had a huge selection of cheap cassettes – I remember picking up my first Rolling Stones titles here when I was like 13 or 14 years old. I remember one time I decided to see if I could actually steal a record from this place. I did too…I walked in, snuck over to the vinyl without being too conspicuous, grabbed a copy of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts “Album” (so that dates this story to 1983 so I was 13) and walked right out the door with it. But that was the only time I ever stole music from this place. It wasn’t a good idea, the chance of getting caught was great and not worth the risk. Another memory from 1983: One day, this kid walks up to me and says “Hey! Did you see Kiss took off their makeup on their new record?” Well, news traveled slowly in those days…no internet, just good old Hit Parader and Circus Magazines – so I wasn’t even aware that there WAS a new Kiss album out. But I didn’t believe him and said I’d go check it out on my lunch hour and prove he was a liar. So my fellow Kiss freak buddy “DJ” and I walk the few blocks from our school and go into Rexall’s and there on the shelf was the proof – the Kiss album “Lick It Up” had been released and there were a few copies to be had in the good old drug store here. We stood there, looking at the cover, unbelieving of what we were seeing. Kiss…without makeup? Unthinkable. Which one of those ugly fuckers is Gene Simmons do you suppose?!? They were still selling music at the Drug Store in 1985 when I moved away. The drug store eventually shut down at some point several years ago and I think the building houses an office supply shop now.
Early – Mid 1980’s (CLOSED)
This place was a TV sales/repair shop that also sold other stuff like washers and dryers and dishwashers and stuff, and they had a full repairs business for all this stuff. I actually went to school with the owners daughter. They also carried some high-end stereo equipment, and as such they had a small selection of cassettes that I can remember, in those old “stick your hand through the hole in the plexiglass door of the music case” things. There wasn’t much of a selection I remember, but I did spot a copy of Iron Maiden “Killers” in there one day and decided to make it mine. A few days later, after school, I somehow managed to wiggle it through the hole in the door of the case and nonchalantly walked out of the store with my new ill-gotten music. “The Number of the Beast” made me do it, I swear! I don’t ever recall actually buying any music here though. And they never seemed to get more music in stock – I always remember seeing the same old 100 or so tapes in that old display case. They never got more and the ones they did have never seemed to go anywhere…it was odd.
The Ben Franklin store in Aitkin, MN as it appears in 2010. Looks like it's been closed and for sale for some time now.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Late 1970’s – Mid 1980’s (CLOSED)
I bought a lot of music here in my young days. You may remember Ben Franklin? An old school “five and dime store” that carried everything from rock and roll records to toys to cloth for sewing, a pharmacy counter I think, tools, the best candy selection in town, just a good old general store kind of place. I don’t know if they all had a record section, but the one in Aitkin did, and for many years I’d go there and browse the vinyl after school to see what they had. I can remember seeing the Gene Simmons 1978 solo album there for the first time and thinking it must be the coolest thing ever – I begged and pleaded but my step-dad was having none of it that particular day. But over the years I did manage to get some great stuff here. I remember on like my 13th birthday or so taking my money down there and plunking it down for the 2LP Queen “Live Killers”. I remember picking up my first copy of “Emotional Rescue” by the Stones here. They always had a nice selection of 45’s at Ben Franklin too. Some of the ones I purchased there that I remember were “Hey Mickey” by Toni Basil (I know – but c’mon, I was like 13 or something), “Too Much Time On My Hands” by Styx, some Asia singles when they were big, “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen and many others long forgotten now. I also in particular remember going back to school in the fall of 1979 when the Kiss marketing machine was going full bore and there were Kiss folders, notebooks, and pencils to be had. I think I picked up a group photo notebook, the Ace Frehley notebook, a few folders and a pack or two of the pencils. I WISH like hell I still had all these items but, being in 3rd grade at the time, I knew no better and used ‘em and abused ‘em. I actually sharpened the pencils up in a pencil sharpener and used em. Dammit!!! Those things bring a pretty penny these days. I also remember purchasing many, many, many packs of Kiss collectors cards at Ben Franklin when those were released in 1978. And Chu-Bops. Those little bubble gum records that came in a collectible “card style” sleeve. I had a ton of those things…all bought at Ben Franklin. Good memories of that place…
This American Family Insurance office, located on main street in Aitkin, MN, was the former location of my mom's Christian bookstore called "The Promise Place". She operated the place from some time in the early 80's to the early 90's.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
The Promise Place
Early 80’s - 1988 or so (CLOSED)
All the while I was going around buying (or stealing) Satan Rock all over town, my Mom and Step-Dad were busy up the street trying to provide a better influence, selling Christian Rock at their small but popular bookstore, the Promise Place. Mom believed firmly that she should be selling Christian Rock in the store and had a pretty nice selection of it actually. I remember when Stryper first came out she brought me home a copy of the “Yellow & Black Attack” on vinyl. A few months later she brought home something even cooler, a Stryper “Reason For The Season” 7” picture disc. And a 12” limited edition version as well. This would become a ritual – any time there was a new Stryper release I managed to score a free copy from good old mom. Enigma Records was really pushing Stryper so there were quite a few cool collectables, nice picture discs and such, to be had and I usually got a copy. She also gave me great cassettes and albums by Barren Cross, Bloodgood, Leviticus, Whitecross and Saint. Then there were the more traditional “rock” style bands like Rez and Petra. Yeah, Mom was a big supporter of the Christian Rock and over the years she gave me some really great stuff, which she continued to do even after I moved to my Dad’s place in my Junior year of high school. I’m not sure, but I think she closed the original Promise Place in maybe spring or summer of 1988 after my step-dad suddenly passed away in the fall of 1987, to concentrate more on the artwork side of things that she was developing, a side business that grew from the Promise Place, The Sand Man. She eventually opened up another small shop down on the opposite end of main-street but I don’t think she was selling music at that location, just artwork. I do still have her cassette sales display rack from the original store though – a nice, wooden cassette holder that holds 120 tapes. It’s currently still full of cassettes in the NYCDreamin Archives office and is one of my most treasured possessions.
The House Record Store
Grand Rapids, MN
Late 70’s – Early 80’s (CLOSED)
So that wasn’t actually the name of the place I’m sure, but I have no idea what it was called. But I can remember this place pretty clearly – it was a cool record store in what had once been a house - I’d go in there when I was around 10 or so and just browse the amazing selection of vinyl and 8-tracks in this place. For some reason I remember they had a lot of Bay City Rollers records in there. And a ton of Kiss records. I remember this place probably best for it being where I finally purchased a copy of the 1978 Gene Simmons solo LP that I’d so long coveted. I remember getting it someplace I could listen to it and putting it on and wondering why the hell he was singing “When You Wish Upon A Star”. At least the poster that came wit the record was really cool. This might have been the only record I ever bought there, I’m not sure, but I do remember going there many times without any money in my pocket when I was pretty young and just looking and looking at the records, wishing I was a rich kid. The place closed at some point in the early 80’s I think, maybe even by 1980.
Old Furniture Warehouse Record Store
Grand Rapids, MN
Early 1980’s (CLOSED)
I don’t remember the name of this place either, but there was this old furniture store on the east end of Grand Rapids in those days and they for some reason were selling all this vinyl in the furniture warehouse as well. Maybe the owner had a record store someplace that he’d closed down, I don’t know, I just remember walking around couches and La-Z-Boys and looking at tons of cool vinyl in this place with my step-brother. For some reason I’m remembering a bunch of Rainbow LP’ in particular. They also had a lot of really cutting edge metal for the time – Venom, Slayer, Metallica, Celtic Frost, some really cool stuff. I don’t recall ever purchasing anything from here, I still really didn’t have much of my own money at his point and the records here were kind of expensive, but I never stole anything from there either, just looked around a lot.
(KMart Logo image Via)
Grand Rapids, MN
Late 1970’s – Late 1980’s
For the longest time the K-Mart in Grand Rapids had a large section, like maybe 4 aisles worth, of vinyl. I can remember it being the place I purchased many of my early Kiss records and I can remember clearly the day I picked up a copy of the Plasmatics “Coup D’Etat” on vinyl there too. I think I also bought Krokus “Headhunter” and Cheech and Chong “Get Out Of My Room”on vinyl there. And many many 45’s over the years. Then cassettes came on strong and the selection of vinyl kind of dwindled down for a few years. I remember them having $1.99 budget bins for the longest time, trying to sell off as much vinyl stock as possible before the inevitable death of the genre at the hands of the then still in it’s infancy CD. K-Mart was another of those places I just couldn’t help myself and during my young teens, say 12-14ish, I managed to build my music collection by several titles by “liberating” music from K-Mart. I think I got my first copy of Iron Maiden “Live After Death” there and the Scorpions “Love At First Sting” as well. Don’t get me wrong, I bought a lot of stuff there too, it’s just once in a while I was rather broke and wanted – no – needed – new music. Then one day, all the vinyl was just gone. Then the cassettes disappeared eventually too, and all that was left were then still high priced CD’s. I remember looking at CD’s when they first came out and wondering who had the money to pay $50.00 for this weird CD thing when you could buy the vinyl for $8.99. CD’s were CRAZY expensive when they first arrived in America. Thankfully there were still some places in town that sold vinyl and cassettes. With the loss of vinyl at K-mart, so too came a real loss of selection, the available number of titles in general dwindling down to much less selection until the music department at K-Mart by the early 1990’s sucked ass and then virtually disappeared. I have not been in a K-Mart for years and I don’t even know if they sell CD’s there anymore.
Bob’s Pawn Shop/Second Hand Store
Grand Rapids, MN
Mid-late 1980’s (CLOSED)
Bob originally ran a hobby shop on the other end of town. The kind of place you could get model train accessories, all your Dungeons and Dragons gaming needs, model airplanes, tanks, semi truck and all the stuff you needed to put them together. Rare coins and stamps. Model rocketry kits and supplies. And a full news-stand with literally thousands of magazines from around the world – including a huge selection of porn that I always had my horned-up little 13-16 year old mind on but never got to have a glance at – Bob ran a tight ship. He had a great selection of music magazines – and some early fanzines as well. I remember picking up this one fanzine – it was all really early death metal like Celtic Frost, Possessed, Kreator…I wish I could remember the name of that ‘zine. Better yet I wish I still had it. Alas. But anyway, Bob eventually branched out a bit more and purchased an old two story house on the west end of town and opened up a 2nd hand shop/pawn shop. Well, here, he had tons – and I mean tons – of books and records for sale. And antiques. And crap you had no idea what it was. And old jewelry…just tons of stuff. I used to spend literally hours upstairs looking through stacks and stacks and stacks of 45’s, looking for obscure, collectible Kiss singles. His selection of 12”LPs was equally impressive…it’s a wonder the floor of the old place didn’t cave in from the weight. I loved this place. Bob would let you look as long as you wanted, and many times I had to leave with nothing as I was broke when I walked in…he didn’t mind. He knew I’d be back when I had money and he was right. A few of the things I remember buying there were a Kiss “Love Gun” belt buckle. I think he got me for like $25.00 – they go for $100+ on Ebay nowadays. I sold it several years ago for $50.00 so I made my money. Another great item I got there was an Ace Frehley 1978 solo album picture disc – near mint condition. I think I paid $20. I sold it years ago. I also picked up many, many LPs by just totally random bands for just .25 and .50cents…he always gave me a great deal because I usually bought several at a time. If it looked cool I’d buy it. My vinyl collection around this time was getting rather large, numbering in the 350 titles range, due in large part to purchasing vinyl records from Bob. He eventually closed down a few years later and I really missed shopping there when he did. I’m not sure what ever became of the hobby shop. Maybe he got closed down in a big porn sting or something, I don’t know.
Fun Shop at Central Square Mall
Grand Rapids, MN
Mid-Late 1980’s (CLOSED)
This place was one of those novelty stores you find in malls. The kind that sell rubber dog crap and gag gifts for parties. Dirty birthday cards, random buttons with odd things printed on them, t-shirts with lame slogans like “It’s Beer-Thirty!” You know the kind of place I’m talking about. But this place had a really cool section in the back of the shop where they were selling a wide variety of music. They always had a very nice selection of vinyl – and much to my mid-late teen delight, they always carried a good selection of metal. I remember quite a few titles I picked up here. Among them were Ace Frehley’s first solo album away from Kiss, a few Overkill records like “Fuck You” and “Feel The Fire”, Savatage, Cro-Mags, Zeotrope, Metal Church, Possessed, Slayer, D.R.I., S.O.D….so many good records I bought here. If they didn’t have it they’d try to get it for you, so that was a cool thing about this place. Like all mall stores seem to, the Fun Shop eventually closed down. I was sad to see it go.
Computers Plus @ Central Square Mall
Grand Rapids, MN
Late 1980’s (CLOSED)
This was the premiere place in Grand Rapids in those days to buy a computer, mostly Apple equipment I remember, and stereo equipment for your car. But they also had a fairly decent selection of music here and I bought a lot of stuff there. They even had vinyl for just a while, but then as vinyl fazed out, they just quit selling it and focused on cassettes for quite a longtime and then finally switched over to CD…just before the shop closed it’s mall location and moved uptown and focused solely on computer equipment, no longer selling any music.
Crippa’s Music & Instruments
Grand Rapids, MN
Mid-late 1980’s (CLOSED)
Crippa’s was the town music store for musicians. It was a rather large store, occupying two floors of an old building in downtown Grand Rapids. He had a nice selection of guitars and I eventually bought a few from him in my mid-teens. He had a selection of drums, amps, sheet music, supplied instruments for the high school band, had all the doo-dah’s and gee-gaws you need to keep instruments in fine playing condition. They also fixed and repaired instruments on-site for you. They also had a small but decent selection of music for sale in the store, but I remember it, like everything else in the store, seemed to be priced a bit too high, so I never really bought anything there besides a guitar and my guitar strings once in a while. I may have bought one or two tapes there eventually, but it wasn’t a place I got in the habit of buying music from. He eventually closed the downtown shop and downsized to a much smaller store on the other end of town. I think when they changed locations they stopped selling pre-recorded music entirely.
Last Place On Earth - Duluth, MN. Business Card No. 1 circa 1980's with original location address "33 E. Superior Street"
Last Place On Earth - Duluth, MN. Business Card No. 2 circa 2000's with ne location address "120 E. Superior Street"
Last Place On Earth - Duluth, MN. Business Card No. 3 circa 2000's with ne location address "120 E. Superior Street"
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
The Last Place On Earth
Mid 1980’s – early 1990’s (Currently Open)
When I got really bored with the music selection in Grand Rapids, after I turned 16 and got my drivers licence, I would sometimes road-trip to Duluth to spend some time browsing the Last Place on Earth and Electric Fetus, which in those days were across the street and on opposite ends of the block from each other. The Last Place on Earth was truly all about sex, drugs and rock and roll, and had been open since at least the mid-70’s I guess. They had a great selection of vinyl and cassettes. The also sold more traditional “head-shop” fare such as posters, tie-die tapestries, bongs, one hitters and other marijuana pipes. The selection of drug smoking paraphernalia was actually pretty impressive and I’ll admit to picking up a pipe or two there during my late teens and early 20’s. Then you walked back past the pipes a bit further and they also sold quite an impressive selection of sex toys as well. As impressive as some of these were, I left them on the shelf for someone else to enjoy. I bought quite a bit of music from this place over the years including but not limited to Exodus “Pleasures of the Flesh”, Overkill “Fuck You”, a Celtic Frost picture disc that I bought as a gift for a friend, and a few rare King Diamond 12” singles. The Last Place on Earth eventually changed locations, moving a few blocks down the street. I think I’ve only been there once since they changed locations and I’m not 100% sure, but I think they stopped selling music altogether and concentrated more on the posters and bongs aspect of things.
The Electric Fetus - Duluth, MN, circa 2007.
(Image via: Carl Farbman's Flickr)
The Electric Fetus
Mid 1980’s – early 1990’s (Currently Open)
As I mentioned above, the Fetus, as we called it, was located just down the block from the Last Place on Earth. They had a similar selection of music, pot smoking devices, posters, etc. The Fetus did not have the selection of sex-toys that The Last Place featured, however. But they did have a small selection of vintage hippie clothing – robes, scarves and such. We’d finish shopping at the Last Place and then come across the street and browse the Fetus. The Electric Fetus had a large selection of vinyl, both new and used. And cassettes. I bought quite a few titles here over the years as well, but not quite as many as I’d buy at the Last Place on Earth. They seemed to have a bit more metal over there and that is what I was looking for in those days. The Fetus seemed to specialize more in “obscure hippy shit” that I wasn’t into much then. Of course the Electric Fetus had (and still has) it’s main store in Minneapolis. I think I’ve been in there like only five or six times in the past 20 years. They also have a location in St. Cloud, MN, just an hour north of Minneapolis.
The Old Bookshop/Newsstand
Mid 1980’s – early 1990’s (CLOSED)
I can’t remember the name of this place…and it’s no longer around. Just a few blocks down the street from the Last Place on Earth and the Electric Fetus there was this huge old warehouse building. Inside was a bookstore. And this place was massive. It was run by some old hippie guy and his wife, as I recall, and they sold one of the largest selections of new and used books I’ve ever seen in my life. Any topic, any subject, they had a book about it. They also carried a huge selection of current magazines – and my favorite – OLD magazines – literally thousands and thousands of back issues of any magazine you could imagine. I used to spend hours browsing the music magazines when I’d shop here. They also had a huge selection of porn magazines – and back issues – that it was easy to get lost in. Any dirty magazine you can think of or remember from those days was there for the taking and many you’d never heard of as well. And it was the only store I knew of that sold the magazine “High Times”. And they had back issues of that too, going all the way back to the late 1970’s. And then they had a huge, and I mean huge selection of used vinyl. No new stuff, just used. They must have had 10,000 or more 7” singles. And they had stack and stacks of 8-tracks. And a whole shelf of used cassette tiles, and as CD’s came into popularity, they began carrying a selection of used CD’s. In fact this may be the first place I ever saw used CD’s for sale. And they carried something from every genere…tons of old jazz and blues albums, a great selection of rock and metal, pop stuff, country, classical. It just went on and on. I would go in there with the intention of spending 20 minutes and come out 2 hours later. A few of the albums I remember picking up here included Blackjack (featuring Bruce Kulick of Kiss and Micheal Bolton), some early, 1st pressing Kiss albums that still had posters and/or merchandise order forms in them, a few Venom records, the first Black ‘N’ Blue album, and several used but excellent quality Queen albums. On a trip to Duluth in the early 200’s, I was saddened to find that the place had cleared out its inventory and closed down. I truly miss this place – I’ve never shopped anyplace quite like it and have often had fantasies of opening up a place just like it, someplace you can literally get lost among the books and records.
Late 1980’s – early 1990’s (CLOSED)
The first time I ever set foot in this shop was on 09/02/87. I know this because a friend and I had come down to Minneapolis to visit his cousin and her boyfriend. We were gonna drink a bit and go to the State Fair. We decided first, that we wanted to go downtown and do a bit of record shopping. So they took us downtown, dropped us off someplace on Hennepin Avenue and said to call them when we were done. So me and my buddy start checking out all the cool (now all gone) shops along the street. Head shops. Places you could buy Chinese throwing stars and nun-chuks. Rock and roll posters and patches and pins and stuff. Adult stores. And a few record shops. On one corner stood our destination – Northern Lights. It was located just at the opposite end of the block from the legendary 1st Avenue & 7th Street nightclub/concert hall. So we head in there, but before we walk in, I spot a poster hanging in the window. It’s advertising a Suicidal Tendencies concert. And the show is THAT night! Right down the block at 1st Avenue. So we find a phone, call dude’s cousin and tell them we want to go to the ST show instead. So we did. I wrote about it HERE. But back to the record store. Once it was decided we’d go to the show, we walked in Northern Lights and bought tickets to the show. Once that was taken care of, we went in and browsed. It was a metal head and punk/hardcore paradise. Lots of vinyl, 12” import singles, rare 7” singles put out by local bands. Think up your favorite obscure band (think 1987 here) and they probably had it at Northern Lights. They also carried a HUGE selection of fanzines from around the globe. I remember picking up things like Nuclear Assault, import Metallica singles (Metallica was still cool then), my first Alice In Chains cassette came from there. It was a cool place. Sadly, at some point in the early 90’s it closed down and the building remained vacant for many years after that. It was sad and a huge loss to all the kids who still go to shows at 1st Avenue, who could be shopping there today still while they wait for the doors of the club to open. But, no. Now you just hang on the sidewalk.
Early 1990's (CLOSED)
When I first moved to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area a few years later, I moved to Burnsville. And when I got there, within days I was pleased to find Northern Lights had a Burnsville location. The Burnsville location wasn’t quite as hard-core as the Minneapolis store – it was brighter and in a strip-mall. But they had a great selection of metal and punk there as well. They tended to sell some cool collectibles as well. I remember they had copies of Madonna’s “Sex” book there. It was here that I remember buying music from White Zombie, Cerebral Fix (never heard of that one I bet), S.O.D., Queensryche, Malevolent Creation, Goreguts. A lot of heavy shit. It was a great store. I think they closed down around the same time as the Minneapolis store but I’m not really sure.
Cheapo Records, Minneapolis, MN
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Early 90’s - Currently Open
More Information: Wikipedia/Cheapo Records
Ah, Cheapo, how I love thee. This place is out of control. If you want it, chances are, you will find it at Cheapo. They used to have a much smaller store back in the days of vinyl, further east down Lake Street. They moved into the current location over 10 years ago now though. A few years ago the renovated the whole store and it’s about as cool a place as you want to shop for music. It’s huge. Split into upstairs and downstairs. You walk in and there is a huge wall of concert posters and flyers for every show at every club in town. Well, maybe not every one, but a lot of them. It’s cool. Then, you go down stairs. Here you will find all the vinyl – tons and tons of it. And cassettes. Tons of those too. They even have some 8-tracks for sale down here. And a huge selection of cheap VHS movies. Among the vinyl they have a large selection of local stuff, 45’s and 12” singles – used, new, re-issues and rare collectibles. It’s a place you can browse for hours. Then you go back upstairs and they have all the CD’s and DVD’s up here. And did I mention it’s huge? This place is fucking Mecca for a music lover. You could go bankrupt in Cheapo, I’ve done it a few times actually, going in and just finding anything you could want and usually a bunch of shit you didn’t know you wanted in the first place. I’ve spent easily a few thousand dollars in here over the past 15 years or so. They don’t seem to be going anywhere either, and I like that thought. There may not be a bunch of record shops anywhere anymore, but hopefully Minneapolis will always have Cheapo – one of the best ever.
Mid 1980's - 2008 (CLOSED)
*Former location of "Great American Music"
Cheapo has a few stores located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. This one, located just a bit north of Minneapolis, was for years someplace I’d shop. I don’t get up there much anymore. But when I used to shop there they had a great selection of Metal and Punk and obscure shit. New and used. Unfortunately, no vinyl like the Minneapolis flagship store, but a lot of good stuff.
Before it was a Cheapo, this location was home of a Great American Music Records store for many years. I shopped here a few times when it was still Great American Music, it was a really great store. They had tons of vinyl and cassettes, carried all the free local weekly papers and had tons of concert ads plastered in the entryway and there was always something rockin' on the P.A. system they had set up in the store so you could rock while you shopped. It was while shopping here I first heard Gun’s ‘N’ Roses “Appetite For Destruction.” I inquired as to who they were playing, and the guy told me, "G 'N'R. They're supposed to be the next big thing." He was right...kinda. I remember my dad sending me there once when I was about 13 or so to pick him up a cassette copy of Steve Miller Band’s “Abracadabra” to listen to in the car. I remember buying a few cut-out bin Krokus cassettes here, and I stole my first and only copy of Prince’s “Purple Rain” from this location. But I DID shop there, I spent plenty of cash in this store. And I was a kid 'fer cryin out loud - just being honest here. Long before I ever set foot in the place, back on 09/27/79, Kiss did an in-store appearance here. It was nearly a mob scene of little kids and their parents. You can see some great photos from that event HERE.
Half Price Books & Records
St. Louis Park, MN
2000’s – Currently Open
Half Price Books & Records is a national chain that has several Twin Cities locations, but I always shop this one as it’s closest to home. This is a great store. They are mostly concerned with books, but they do sell a good selection of used vinyl and CDs and new and used DVDs. This is a place you need to bring at least $100.00 with you to spend and you will find that you could easily spend two or three times that each time you shop here…lots of very cool stuff.
Two views of Hymies Vintage Records origianl location in Minneapolis, circa summer 2007. The store made a move just a few blocks down the street to a newer, nicer building earlier this spring.
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
1990’s – Currently Open
I was late to Hymie’s party, and by the time I started going to his shop, he had passed away and left the store to a loyal emoployee. (Who has now sold the store and the new owners have changed locations.) But the original store was located in an old two-story house on East Lake Street in Minneapolis. A virtual vinyl haven…tons and tons of vinyl. The kind of place you can smell the vinyl. A great selection of everything from jazz to oldies to rock to disco. An amazing selection of 45’s. Even a whole wall of 8-tracks, many of them still sealed. I have to admit, I have not been to the new location yet, and I really must try to get there soon.
Tree House Records, Minneapolis, MN, circa summer 2007.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Tree House Records
*Formerly known as "Oarfolkjokeopus" (1972 - 2001)
More Information: Wikipedia/Tree House Records
Myspace: Treehouse Records - Facebook: Treehouse Records
Tree House Records hangs on in South Minneapolis. The store was originally known as “Oarfolkjokeopus” and was ground-zero for the Minneapolis music scene during the 80’s and 90’s. I wasn’t here then so I didn’t witness it first hand but anyone who was anyone in the Minneapolis scene in those days, including members of Babes In Toyland, Jayhwaks, Soul Asulum, Husker Du, Suicide Commandos and many others could be found here with some regularity. This was another shop I never set foot in until about five years ago I guess. I’ve picked up a few cheap used vinyl titles there but that’s about it. But it’s so cool to go in there and look around – a good selection for sure, but they have some of the most amazing posters on the wall – it’s a blast just walking in and checking those out. I should probably buy more stuff there though.
Let It Be Records - Minneapolis, MN, now closed.
(Image via: CityPages.com)
Let It Be Records
Mid 1990's - 2005 (CLOSED)
Let it Be Records was located for many years on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. They were probably THE place to find local music here. They had a huge selection of CD and vinyl. They also carried a very large selection of cult and indie movies. And they had a nice selection of music magazines and ‘zines. This place also had a ton of really amazing old promo posters on the walls and on the ceilings even. It was a beautiful place to get lost in for a few hours. Sadly, they closed up shop in 2005. I’m not even sure what’s there now to tell you the truth. There is a great set of 14 photos of the interior walls of the store over on Flickr, you can check 'em out HERE.
Eden Prairie, MN
Mid 1990's - around 2000 (CLOSED)
Used to be, I could hop in my car and in about 10 minutes be at any number of places to buy CDs. Not even vinyl…CDs. And over the past 8 – 10 years, a lot of them have closed down, forcing me to travel further and further to get my music fix. One of the nearby places that doesn’t exist anymore was in Eden Prairie, about 10 minutes away. This CD Warehouse had an absolutely HUGE selection of new and used CDs. They had an astoundingly deep selection of hard to find metal CDs there, that I loved. So, naturally, I bought quite a few CDs here. Imagine my about 5 (7?) years ago when I went up there to pick up a few CDs one fine day, only to arrive and find the place was closed down.
Late 1990's - Summer 2009 (CLOSED)
The CD Warehouse in Edina was even cooler than the one in Eden Prairie. It was run by this really cool late-30’s lady who was always very friendly and helpful. And she’d remember you from previous visits – something not to common at a Cd shop these days. But she had a really great selection of metal and hard rock stuff here. She also sold tons of used DVD’s. I picked up a used copy of the Rick Burns 7DVD set “New York – A Documentry” from her for only $45.00. And because I was always around, well, like once a month at least, she’d always give me a great deal – offering free used CD’s if bought a certain dollar amount, which I usually did and easily. I was very saddened to learn early in the summer of 2009 that she was planning on closing up the shop in August of that year. I made sure I made one more trip over to the store and spent nearly $100.00 on used CDs, knowing it was the last time I’d ever get to shop here. I ran into the owner a month or so later at a Gear Daddies Concert in Apple Valley, MN. She said the store was now closed and she missed it but it just wasn’t worth all the trouble…running a record store ain’t what it used to be in the year 2009.
Know Name Records, Minneapolis, MN - Promo Guitar Picks
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Know Name Records
Early 1990's - Currently Open
Myspace: Know Name Records
Know Name Records in Minneapolis continues to hang in there on the South side. They even run TV commercials sometimes. Or they used to…I haven’t seen one in a while I guess. Here one will find plenty of new and used, vinyl, CD, cassettes. Tons of other stuff too. Devices for all of your…uh…smoking needs. Frisbee Golf discs, posters, tapestries, t-shirts. One of the fun things about coming here is looking at the amazing collection of Picture Discs that line the walls throughout the store. It’s good to see that at least one old-school record shop is still surviving in Minneapolis.
Down In The Valley
Golden Valley, MN
Early 1990's - Currently Open
I used to shop at Down In the Valley quite often but have pretty much stopped shopping there over the past several years. They still carry an amazing selection of CD (new and used), some vinyl, tons of books, gag gifts, posters, t-shirts, pipes and paraphernalia. I used to be friendly with this guy who worked in this store and he was an avid bootlegger, taping almost every show that came through town. He always had a few of his best shows for sale in the shop and I bought a few, including a 2 cassette soundboard recording of Kiss in St. Paul in 1992, and a 2CD fan-recording of the band in St. Paul in July 1996. I also bought a really nice copy of Kiss “The Originals”, a semi-rare 3LP set, here for a really decent price. I sold it for a profit a short time later. I also bought a few Kiss 8-tracks here for a good price, some large wall-size Kiss posters, a Peter Criss autographed NYC Kis Convention program…random Kiss fanzines. I bought stuff by other bands there as well, but my buddy the bootlegger was also a serious Kiss fan so there was always a lot of Kiss stuff in the store. At some point I stopped going up there so often. Then it had been a year or so I guess, and I went in and my bootlegging pal was no longer working there and things looked like they’d changed a bit around the store. Not that it got so much worse, it was just…different. Thankfully, at least, they’re still there if I feel I might need something from them at some point.
Two view of the now Closed Down in the Valley store that was located in Wayzata, MN.
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Down In The Valley
Mid 1990’s – 2007 (CLOSED)
A smaller version of the Down In The Valley store in Golden Valley, this one was located in a strip-mall in Wayzata, near Lake Minnetonka. I shopped there many times from around 1995 to just a few years ago. About 2 years ago, I was on my way someplace one morning and as I was driving past, I noticed the store had closed.
12/01/04 - City Pages print edition announces the closing of Root Cellar Records. Metal Heads all over the midwest hold their heads and weep...
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Root Cellar Records
St. Paul, MN
Mid 1990's - 2004 (CLOSED)
Root Cellar Records was THE premiere Heavy Metal shop in the Twin Cities, maybe even the entire upper mid-west. It was run by the friendly and infamous Earl Root, metal head of the highest order. Besides running the shop, Earl was a member of several death metal bands, ran a very successful, long running Metal radio show on KFAI-FM here, and ran his own record label, Root Of All Evil Records. Earl was a busy man but he was always friendly and doing something to support his fellow metal heads in the world-wide metal community. His little shop in St. Paul was a place jammed with every main-stream and obscure hard rock and metal title you could ever hope to see. I actually only had the pleasure of shopping there maybe half a dozen times before the place closed up a few years ago. Then Earl took ill a short while later and eventually, on 05/23/08, he passed away. He is well missed and still well respected among his metal bretheren around the globe.
Earl's legacy lives on at RootofAllEvil.com...
Extreme Noise - Still giving Minneapolis a good kick in the ass.
(Image via: MNArtists.org)
2000’s – Currently Open
Myspace: Extreme Noise
Also still holding on in Minneapolis is Extreme Noise, a collectively run independent store that is 100 punk fucking rock. A huge selection of local, national and international music, a great selection of t-shirts, books, ‘zines from around the globe and always, located just inside the front door, tons of flyers for local punk shows. This place is a must-visit for anyone visiting Minneapolis from out of town. You’re sure to find something you need here. You may not even be aware that you need it, but you'll discover just how badly you really do once you step inside the doors here.
Total Gas Station
Early 1990’s (CLOSED)
So yeah, back in my younger days I was working overnights at a gas station. I worked at this place a few different times actually. It sucked, what can I say? I only mention it here because back in those day in the early 90’s, you could still find gas stations that sold a small selection of cassettes and CDs. Mostly bad country music and lots of bad “southern comedy” like Jeff Foxworthy. But we sold quite a few of ‘em actually, and every once in a while something cool would pop up in the monthly selection. I picked up Y&T Live on cassette for $1.99. There were a few others as well, but that was the best one I guess. One day the guy who stocked the music selection came around, inventoried up what was left, left some paperwork for my boss and carried off the remaining stock of cassettes and CDs to his car. That was the end of music sales at Total Gas in Chaska. Not that it was a huge loss or anything, but it was one more crack in the loss of retail sales locations for pre-recorded music in this country.
(Unknown) Drug Store
Eearly 1990’s (CLOSED)
When I first moved to Chaska back in the fall of 1992 there was a drug store in this little strip mall right downtown. It might have been a Rexall’s Drugs store, I’m not really sure. It wasn’t there very long after I moved her, maybe a year at most. But when they were still open, I did go in there a few times to pick something up, and I noticed they had a small spinner rack filled with cassettes and CD’s, much like the selection found over at the Total gas station. I think I picked up a copy of the “Dazed And Confused” soundtrack on CD there for just a few dollars. I could tell when I went there each of the few times I did that this drug store was surely on it’s last legs and sure as shit, about a year later they closed up shop. A short while later, a Chinese Restaurant appeared in the old drug store space. It found almost immediate success, and is still there today doing very brisk business as always.
Former location of On-Cue Music, at Shakopee Town Square Mall, Shakopee, MN.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Achives)
Late 90's - early 2000's (CLOSED)
Not much remarkable about this one. I bought quite a few CD's here in the mid 90's through the early 2000's. They closed, best I can remember, around 2004 or so. I was pretty bummed out that they closed up this location because it was the closest place to my house I could run and pick up new CD's. When they closed it meant I had to drive to Eden Prairie. Not much further, but still...further.
Goodwill at Shakopee Town Square Mall, Shakopee, MN.
Mid-2000's - present
The Goodwill has been open in the Shakopee Town Square Mall since the early-mid 2000's I think. I've been stopping in there once a month or so for maybe five years now. They sometimes have a few cool CD's for $2.99. Once in a great while they have a cool piece of vinyl for $1.00, but mostly it's a bunch of old, scratched up clasical albums and soundtracks and Christmas albums. They usually have a bunch of beat up old radios, CD players, VCR's and the occasional turntable that still works. Here you can also find a large selection of used VHS movies for $1.00 each and usually a bunch of cassettes for the same price. They usually dont' have many DVD's and the CD's they do have usually suck, but I still stop in once in a while just to check it out...you never know. Some of the items I have purchased here include a bunch of $1.00 Dead Kennedy's cassettes (great for the car), a Ramones Mania cassette, a few Gear Daddies CD's, some cool hair-metal cassette singles and VHS tapes such as Ozzy Live and Loud, Moscow Music Peace Festival, G'N'R Making Fucking Videos, Aerosmith 3X5 Permanent Vaction and a few episodes of the Hard & Heavy series.
Columbia House Print Ad, circa May 1985.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Columbia House Record Club
1980's - 2000 (Currenly still in business selling DVD's)
If you’re over a certain age (let’s say 35) you’ll remember the name Columbia House. They were the premiere mail-order record club in America for many years. My mom joined back when I was around 8 years old and she let me pick out 2 8-tracks. I chose Kiss Double Platinum. Since it was 2-tape set, it counted as 2 selections so that’s all I got. But that was OK with me. A few weeks later it arrived in the mail and I listened to it over and over and over on the crappy old 8-track player I had in my room. My mom and step-dad eventually built up a very nice library of 8-tracks numbering in the several hundred. Many of them came from mail-order places like Columbia House and some members-only country music club my step-dad belonged to. I first joined Columbia House (with my parents’ permission) when I was about 14 years old. I finished my membership agreement obligations by purchasing 6 or more selection is 12 months or something like that, and I cancelled my membership. Within a year or so I had joined again, not being able to resist 14 more tapes for just a few dollars. I was in like 8th or 9th grade at this time and I managed to get several of my friends to join Columbia House too. And each one that joined through me meant I got 2 free tapes. I eventually finished my membership agreement obligations again and, once again, terminated my membership. A few years went by and just after I moved to Chaska in 1992 I joined Columbia House yet again, buying music with a vengence, scoring up the free bonus selections permitted under membership terms with speedy regularity. Finished up my membership, cancelled. Joined again in spring 2000. Bought a ton more music, cancelled my membership. That would have been back in around 2001 or 2002. And I hadn’t given Columbia House much thought in the years since.
RCA Record Club Ad, circa June 1985
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
RCA/BMG Record Club
RCA/BMG Record Club was like the poor-man’s Columbia House. You didn’t have to buy nearly as many selections, but you didn’t get as many free, either. But a friend of mine had joined BMG back in like 8th grade or so, and he got me to sign up as well. I bought the few selections required in the time required, and then quit BMG, not very satisfied with the selection of music they had.