Pilgrimages: Minneapolis

Everybody goes on holidays but the focus is on satisfying the mainstream. The “pilgrimages” blogs covers niche affections for music and popular culture and provides map links to them.

 

Minneapolis, Minesota, USA was the epicentre of some of my favourite musicians’ careers. Prince and The Replacements came from Minneapolis. Hüsker Dü were from neighbouring Saint Paul. Bob Dylan and Low were from Duluth (250 km away).

On 29 December 2016, I visited the following locations by foot and Uber driver.

Jay’s Longhorn Bar [Map]

Nothing indicates this was the centre of punk music in Minneapolis anymore. Currently storage for Xcel Energy.

minneapolis - longhorn

First Avenue & 7th Street Entry [Map]

A Greyhound Bus terminal was redeveloped into two adjoining concert venues in 1968. First Avenue, the larger venue, was a primary filming location of “Purple Rain” starring Prince. 7th Street Entry is where local bands cut their teeth and Hüsker Dü recorded their debut album “Land Speed Record“.

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Mary Tyler Moore Statue [Map]

Mary Richards, fictional TV reporter and producer on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show“, was renown for her ability to “turn the world on with her smile” and “take a nothing day and suddenly making it all seem worthwhile”. Through her portrayal, Moore became a feminist icon. A statue, commemorating her joyful hat-throw in Nicollet Mall from the opening, moved into the Minneapolis Visitor Information after they started renovating the mall.

Hüsker Dü covered the theme song “Love is All Around” as a b-side to their “Makes No Sense at All” single and appeared in the mall for the video.

Moore passed away on 25 January.

minneapolis - mary tyler moore statue

Bob Dylan Mural [Map]

Three stages of Dylan’s career grace the carpark.

minneapolis - bob dylan mural

Bob Stinson’s Bench [Map]

Bob Stinson, co-founder of The Replacements, passed away in 1995. This tranquil riverside location contrasts with the trauma from his step-father and extravagant stage persona.

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Childhood Homes of some of The Replacements

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“Let It Be” House [Map]

The roof of the Stinsons’ home was used for the cover of The Replacements’ album “Let It Be“.

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Cheapo Records (former location of Twin/Tone Records) [Map]

Cheapo Records occupies one former location of Twin/Tone Records. The Replacements and Hüsker Dü battled to have their first single released by the label. Twin/Tones chose The Replacements, released their first 3 albums until the major label Sire Records poached the band.

Coincidentally Bob Mould and Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü met when Hart worked at Cheapo when it was in a different location.minneapolis - cheapo records

Former location of Nicollet Studios etc [Map]

Around the corner from Cheapo is. That was the former location of Nicollet Studios, Twin/TonesRecords, Reflex Records and Hüsker Dü’s office. Reflex Records was formed by Hüsker Dü and their soundman Terry Katzman after the Twin/Tones rejection. Hart’s first solo release was an EP and title track “2541”.

Lake Street US Post Office P.O. Box 8941 [Map]

According to The Current, this is the most probable contact address for “slightly overweight girls who need sex” from the classified section of the City Pages, October 13th, 1982, which became the lyrics of The Replacements’  “Lovelines“.

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Treehouse Records (former location of Oar Folkjokeopus) [Map]

Record store Oar Folkjokeopus operated from 1974 to 2001. Peter Jesperson, managed the store from 1976 until 1984 and was Replacements’ first manager. In 2001, Treehouse Records opened in the same spot.

treehouse records open

Paisley Park [Map]

Prince’s recording studio and offices have become a museum since his death in 2016. Located in Chanhassen, this was expensive – two 30 minute Uber rides and USD$70 admission. Staff are extremely strict in preventing mobile phones and cameras entering – photos are only permitted in the gift shop. The tour is impressive and includes seeing the Prince’s nightclub, performance venue, office, the studios and the urn containing his ashes. We heard a never released jazz track.

Considering how sexual Prince’s music is, the tour was overtly sanitized and PG – the guide refuses to talk about prescription drug abuse.

Prince’s personal chef still prepares meals to Prince’s standard but for customers. I had a smoothie and Mac and cheese.

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Skyways

Minneapolis has an extensive network of skyways, sheltering its citizens from harsh winters. “Skyway“, The Replacements, is a fitting winter song.

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Minneapolis is a remarkable city. It’s physical place in music history is not vivid and vibrant as Memphis but her people have created a great impression upon music collections and influenced generations that followed.

Other Recommended Reading:

Credits

Header image: Public Domain via Pixabay.

All other photos by the author.

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