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Duluth Rock and Roll Facts and Rumors

I’ve been living in Duluth for a little more than a year and beyond the obvious musical history (Bob Dylan roots, Low and other indie bands, Duluth Armory, etc.) I was wondering if there has been other substantial or fun trivia with musical acts in the Twin Ports. I know Quiet Riot had its first tour start here, and that Crash Test Dummies played Sacred Heart Music Center, stuff like that.

33 Comments

Sjixxxy

about 7 years ago

I believe Eric Berry of REM was born here.

Tom

about 7 years ago

Bill Berry

baci

about 7 years ago

Fred Armisen played at Emerson school with his band Trenchmouth

Barrett Chase

about 7 years ago

Dan Murphy of the bands Soul Asylum and Golden Smog is from here.

Phil Solem of the Rembrandts, who wrote and performed the theme from "Friends," is from here.

TimK

about 7 years ago

Wilco thought our mayor was "some kid."

Slim Jimmy M

about 7 years ago

Men Without Hats (The Safety Dance) gigged Mr. Pete's in the early 1980s

mnbeerdrinker

about 7 years ago

Eric Clapton had to cancel a show here in the early '80s due to a medical emergency.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

We probably shouldn't forget about Daryl Hall's "love child."

Also, Yanni used to play in a Twin Cities band called Chameleon that played the old Casablanca Bar in Superior.

Herzog

about 7 years ago

This would have gone on all week with no one mentioning Link Wray's near final performance in Duluth.  Who?  Also, with all the endless Dylan worship, we shant forget the fact that Hank Williams, a musician whom Bobby lists as his number one influence,  played the Armory as well. I can only imagine his cold cold thoughts upon arrival.

consuelo

about 7 years ago

Curses... I was hoping this would be about geology.

Swan

about 7 years ago

A few random bits of trivia:

The Replacements first out of town gig was at Saints Roller Rink warming up for the Suburbs.

Husker Du played two nights at the Orpheum Cafe (later Browsers coffee shop; now Downtown Computer) and spent much of its free time bowling and drinking.

I saw Babes in Toyland play in the basement of Emerson school.

Lots of Minneapolis bands played UMD: Soul Asylum, Magnolias, the Replacements, Trip Shakespeare et. al.

Dick Dale played here and was amazing.

Famous voices from Duluth:
Lorenzo Music (voice of Garfield)
Don LaFontane (movie announcer guy)

The bass player from Toto nearly had a gig at the former Tap Room.

c-freak

about 7 years ago

Venus DeMars from All the Pretty Horses grew up here.

daveypete

about 7 years ago

INXS played at Faces (an all-ages club on 14th Avenue East and London Road) in the early 1980s. I think Quiet Riot ended its career in the Twin Ports as well, performing as Heat at the Cove Cabaret in the early 1990s.

hansel

about 7 years ago

The opening lyrics to the song "Lake of Fire" from the Unplugged in New York album by Nirvana are: "I know a lady, came from Duluth. Bit by a dog with a rabid tooth."

spy1

about 7 years ago

Wilco on Ness, via City Pages, Feb. 22, 2010:

When Wilco played in Duluth Friday night, Mayor Don Ness went with option C, and dubbed the Chicago alt-rockers an honorary Duluth band. It didn't matter that the group had only performed there two times before, the last time being a fog-filled show in 2007. 

"A teenage boy came up to us and said he was the mayor," lead singer Jeff Tweedy said six songs into the show, holding up a blue folder that housed the document Ness presented him backstage before the concert. "He gave it to us. We think it's legit," he said. So, Jeff Tweedy and his bandmates have a home in Duluth -- if they want it.

woodtick

about 7 years ago

Somehow I want to say that The Trashmen (of 'Surfin' Bird' fame) have roots in Duluth.

spy1

about 7 years ago

Trashmen like Duluth (and some reunited in Superior last year), but aren't from here. 
From Jon Bream in the Strib:

Even though the Trashmen and Castaways had national hits, neither band made serious money. Andreason said the Trashmen received only one royalty check: $15,000, "for everything." (The group later went to court and won the rights to their master tapes, which are now being reissued on Sundazed and other labels.) Their top concert take in the '60s was $2,800 for a performance at the Duluth Armory.

dubz

about 7 years ago

I'm going to marry that love child's sister. He's a cool dude.

greg cougar conley

about 7 years ago

Fred Armisen was in Trenchmouth?

Eek

about 7 years ago

Back when Gary U.S. Bonds was touring in support of his comeback album in 1980-81-82(?), the producer of his album — Bruce Springsteen — was spotted hanging out at the concert venue, Grandma's Concert Tent.

The Replacements also played the long gone Warehouse Bar on Canal Park back in the mid 80s.

baci

about 7 years ago

The infamous Mpls band "The F^cking Sh!t Biscuits" are largely from Duluth, they recorded with G.G.Allin.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLgq9MD_ORw&feature=related

On a thematically related note, Wendy O. Williams played in Superior in the early 1980s. I forget which club it was at. I dont know if it was at the same tour as this "event" in Milwaukee.

Barrett Chase

about 7 years ago

According to Jason Cork, at the final show of their 2005 tour, Craig Finn of the Hold Steady told an audience at Webster Hall in Manhattan: "NYC thinks it's a rock city, but if you want to see a real show, go to Duluth." At the same show, he also called Duluth part of the "rock triumverate" along with Fargo and Winnepeg.

CMoHal

about 7 years ago

c-freak:  Fred Armisen was the drummer for Trenchmouth.  

And, I might be wrong, but I believe the openers for Husker Du at those Orpheum shows consuelo mentioned were a little band called Loud Fast Rules which, not long afterward, changed its name to Soul Asylum.

mnbeerdrinker

about 7 years ago

More Duluth rock memories:

Saw Heart at Duluth Arena, late 1970s.

First saw the Suburbs in the basement of the Casa de Roma, early 1980s.

Walking Downtown in a blizzard to see the Flamin' Oh's at the Showcase.

Seeing the 'Burbs, Oh's, Sussman Lawrence, the Phones, the Crash Street Kids and others in Grandma's tent.

Seeing an awesome group called Safety Last at the NorShor.  I can't remember who they opened for, maybe Lamont Cranston

The '80s were an awesome time for live music in Duluth!

baci

about 7 years ago

Dan Murphy from Soul Asylum was born here (or at least grew up here)

nicolai

about 7 years ago

Man, those '85 Husker Du shows were probably awesome.  What a great time to see them.  Speaking of great midwest punk/hardcore bands, Die Kreuzen just announced they will be playing a reunion show in Milwaukee.  Probably my favorite band ever to come out of my homeland of WI.

Herzog

about 7 years ago

Husker Du wrote a good song once, called Diane.  I think the drummer wrote it.  The owner of Treehouse records, a punk, also was in Husker Du, and if you go there, he will be sure to remind you of it.  So if you wish to speak with one of its lesser important members, he will be happy to sell you one of his used styrofoam coffee cups with lip marks, and lavish you with tales from the glory days.  Does anyone know if the Flaming Groovies played here, or what a real band like Creedence sounded like when they played?

emmadogs

about 7 years ago

Diane is Husker Du's best song for sure.

De man

about 7 years ago

The Bon Iver concert, at The Rafters after the first album came out, was amazing.

llinmpls

about 7 years ago

I'm alway late jumping in but here goes:  Mike Baker lived in the Jackson school neighborhood for a while, you could hear his drumming blocks away.

Mr. Petes, Showcase(in the old bus depot), Williams Pub, the Warehouse all had the Minneapolis hey-day bands come through: The Phones, Flamin' Oh's, Whiskey River and others mentioned. 

The Cove Cabaret held some one-off shows back in the 80's and had live music steady as well. Atlantis comes to mind as a 70's Duluth band putting out original music.  The Suburbs played the Cove on a Miller tour - they would spray the crowd with beer before the encore.

I recall local cover bands puttiing out singles - Hostage and Thrush are stashed away in my record collection somewhere.

There was a lot of Duluth talent in Minneapolis back when cover bands were still king in town - someone mentioned the F**S**Biscuits - they played a huge show at First Avenue opening for the Libido Boys - loud and sweaty back when the air-conditioning sometimes worked.  I think one or two of the FSB's worked with Mean Larry & Friends - they had t-shirts declaring themselves "banned from Duluth" - and many other bands too.

I sang in the Emerson school choir back when it was a school and they had an auditorium with a stage and everything.

Mike Baker was rehearsing for a show at Washington Junior - back when it was a school with an auditorum complete with stage and balcony - and our teacher heard him practice and within about a half hour most of the school was taking time off and sitting in the auditorium watching him bang those drums.

Phil Solem was in M A Free Press with Mike Baker for a while.

Helmut Flaag

about 1 year ago

Correction, the owner of Treehouse records just went around telling folks he was in Husker Du. He never really was. I'm not sure why you would pretend yourself into a shitty band. But if you are going to lie, go big. Make up some real shit instead, like how you fought in Vietnam. 

I came back here to this sordid memory dump and had to relive all the monkey spanking to these lousy Minneapolis bands from the 1980s because I found a rare copy of the Atlantis album (a good '70s psych band from Superior) at the catholic bookstore in Lakeside, and was trying to find more info on them.

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