Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Regrets? Here's one

Last night, I read that First Avenue, the legendary Minneapolis music venue, had to close its doors last week after filing for bankruptcy. I never did get to see a show there, which was something I always wanted to do. I almost moved to Minneapolis two years ago, which probably would've given me the opportunity. Even after deciding to move to Iowa, I was only a five-hour drive away. I'd often thought about making that drive to see Liz Phair, PJ Harvey, Wilco, or Paul Westerberg, but ultimately talked myself out of it. Now I wish I'd have pushed myself a bit harder.

Some of my favorite musicians got their start at First Avenue, bands like Husker Du and The Replacements. Prince, too - he filmed "Purple Rain" at First Avenue. One of my favorite scenes in Wilco's documentary, "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart," takes place backstage at the club, as Jeff Tweedy attempts to explain to music writers exactly what his band's album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" is all about.

The world seems less cool today without a place like First Avenue. But according to the article I read, maybe the death knell hasn't been sounded quite yet. I'm sure there's a tangle of lawsuits to fight through before the club could ever open again, and I have no idea if improvements need to be made to the building or anything like that, but if it's mostly a question of finances, I hope the musicians who gave First Avenue its place in rock music's history somehow manage to play a role in keeping it alive. And if it does re-open, I'll make damn sure to see a show there.