Up 7AM. Out of the Smarts place by 8:30 - onto route 90-94 out of city. Lots of traffic. Dave drove. We stopped about 10:30 for breakfast at an "Oasis" over the highway. McDonald's - wood chairs - brass rails - real "ritzy" Micky D's. Dave Blood then took the wheel and drove for about 5 hours. Stopped for gas - I took the rest of the way into Minneapolis.
Got to the 1st Ave. - 7th Street Entry club. 7th Street is a small nice room - great PA - great staff. Bill the sound dude is especially nice. 1st Ave, part of the building is like the old 'Emerald City' club. Lights, tables, huge stage etc. Talent show is going on - real boring.
Wow! Soundman Bill Batson is still there! He's the singer in the Mighty Mofos. The First Avenue and 7th Street Entry still feature lots of music. You may already know that the club scenes in the movie "Purple Rain" were shot here. The club itself is an old bus depot. I've been told that the 7th Street Entry was actually the coat room at one time. We eventually graduated to shows in the 1st Avenue, and it was always a great place to play. We were always treated very well there including terrific catered meals by two staffers - Jackie and Jeri. I remember one of the last shows we did there was with the 'Mighty Mighty Bosstones' and we sold the room out. It was an early all ages show so the night was young. I was handed free drink tickets and promptly drank at least 4 shots of Jim Beam...too bad I don't remember the rest of the night (actually maybe that's for the best...). The old 'Emerald City' club I mention was in New Jersey near Philadelphia. I remember going to see Squeeze (or the Pretenders - I can't remember...) there, and this unknown band from Athen's Georgia that opened up. When they announced 'REM', I thought to myself "not another B-52's wannabe band!". But they were good.
We dump our stuff and go to radio station. Before all this Dave R. went to make calls - Rod got yelled at by street guy for wearing his jungle boots and someone bummed a quarter off me (tried to), and an [American] Indian guy bummed a cigarette off me. Lots of Indian (workers?) walked by our van in the space of 10-15 minutes. Not a friendly town we thought. Anyway - off to radio station - KABL. Met Jill - nice DJ. Nice station. Had our record since last Friday. Have been playing it. Did a 20 minute interview. Signed album. Jill offered us a place to stay. Back to club.
KABL call letters seem to have migrated to California so they aren't on the air in MN anymore. Too bad. Things are getting better though - they actually had our record to play on the air.
Other band had checked already. Ring Theatre was the name. Did our check - great sound. Went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant down the block recommended by Bill - good food. Back to club where we're first up at 10:15. Club gave us a free case of beer - dressing room. Nice introduction - start up set with Surfin' Cow. Joe forgets to plug his guitar in for the first 2 or 3 bars. Dave and I laugh. the rest of the set was killer. Good response - crowd was about 20 at the beginning - 70-80 by the end of the set. Encore with Hangin' Round. Good show. Pack up and watch some of Ring Theatre - real boring - bad band. Probably would do well in frat parties.
Ring Theatre - never heard from again? I think that they told us that their van was totaled while driving near Minneapolis after hitting a deer.
I eventually wandered back to the dressing room. Rod showed up and we graffitied the room quite creatively. Rod wandered off - he came bolting down the stairs - come here quick! Prince and Sheila E. were on stage. Prince on bass and Sheila on drums. He was singing a rap. This was amazing. He had come to the show and they had locked the inside and outside entrance to the 7th Street Entry section of the club - so the 40 or so people that were still here were the only ones allowed in. "Rock, Rock, Hollyrock, Everyone Wanna Hollyrock" After the song he and Sheila left quickly with a few big black bodyguards. Real strange. Got paid $100 - asked back to the club. Off to Jill's. Drank beers. I fell asleep with my clothes on and my contacts in - bad news. Anyway - off to Milwaukee tomorrow with those 'Dozer boys!
I pretty much tell told what happened and it was one of the strangest things I've ever seen. Prince and Sheila basically took over the kit and bass from Ring Theatre at the end of their set. They only played for about 3 minutes. The "Dozer boys" I mention were the band Killdozer. We had played a show or two with them before and they were great fun.Posted by Dean at July 11, 1985 04:00 PM