Mike Watt at the NorShor Theater: “Eyegifts From Minnesota”

The documentary Eyegifts From Minnesota, by Bill Draheim, follows Mike Watt and his band at the time, the Jom and Terry Show, as they drive into Duluth and load in for a performance at the NorShor Theater on May 28, 2002. They tour the old R. O. Carlson’s bookstore, do some sightseeing in Canal Park and spend the night at Shaky Ray Records before heading south for shows at the Turf Club in St. Paul and the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis.

Watt wrote extensively about the tour, and the Duluth stop, on his “Our Oars Became Wings” Tour 2002 Diary. He marvels in the diary and in the film about seeing Lake Superior for the first time. He also mentions in the diary getting a tour of “the secret tunnels” under the NorShor and how it “feels haunted down there.”

The show was advertised in the Ripsaw newspaper as “Mike Watt and His Secondmen,” but it was actually the Jom and Terry Show backing him. There isn’t much difference between the two; Jerry Trebotic is drummer for both. The Duluth show featured Tom Watson on guitar, which makes it a Jom and Terry Show. The Secondmen featured Pete Mazich on organ; he wasn’t at the Duluth show.

Grandpa’s Ghost and Giljunko opened for Watt at the NorShor. Mark Lindquist of Giljunko and Shaky Ray Records offers this reminiscence:

First Ave set up the show. They do that more now, but it was rare then to have First Ave help bands book a show in Duluth. The Black-eyed Snakes were the first choice as opener, but they couldn’t for some reason. Giljunko was second choice mostly because I promised First Avenue General Manager Steve McClellan that I had a house for the band to crash in. I also promised him that no after parties would happen. The second part of the promise failed … it was the Shaky Ray Records house after all. But everyone who came over was really friendly and funny. Watt slept on the floor of the ping pong room because his back and legs really bothered him if he laid down on a mattress. His band was somewhat enamored with the Keep Aways, who came to the party.

Watt was just exactly how I imagined: really talkative, very physical in how he told stories, and seemed amused that we all wanted to hear about the Minutemen. He would perk up and get excited when we would ask stuff about D. Boon (he died in a car accident at the height of the Minutemen). The show itself wasn’t packed, but it was an engaged crowd of about maybe 50 people who knew a lot of Watt’s music and would shout out requests. A couple super fans were there who literally couldn’t believe Mike Watt was just sitting at the bar talking to people and telling jokes and stuff. I’m glad my friend Dan Davis took a picture. Watt has his eye/sleeping mask pulled up on his head which I thought was about the most bad-ass thing anyone ever wore to an after-show party.

Natalie Salminen Rude, Mike Watt, Mark Lindquist

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