First Avenue is the Minneapolis music venue that Prince made famous in his movie “Purple Rain.” I’ve patronized First Avenue since it opened in 1970 as the Depot, named in honor of the former Greyhound bus station that it used to be. I saw the ’70s psyechedelic soul act Rotary Connection (with Minnie Ripperton) there in the era of the Depot, as well as Peter Himmelman, Warren Zevon, and Arthur Lee (the maestro of the great ’60s group Love — post-prison, post-rehab) more recently. Below is a photo of Joe Cocker up where he belongs at the opening of the Depot on April 3, 1970.
This week the Minneapolis counterculture weekly City Pages published an entertaining oral history of First Avenue. It has nothing in particular to recommend it other than the fun inherent in the subject, of which there is lots, good photos, and links galore: “First love.”
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