Minnesota Historical Society

Complicated Fun: The Birth of Minneapolis Punk and Indie Rock, 1974-1984 - An Oral History

$ 19.95


The origins of Minneapolis’s legendary indie rock scene, as told by the people who were there and made it happen. 

  • Author: Cyn Collins
  • Publisher; MNHS Press (May 1, 2017)
  • Paperback, 392 pages, 80 b&w photos, 6x9 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681340326

In the early 1970s, the Minneapolis music scene was no scene at all. Radio stations played Top 40 music; bars and clubs booked only rock cover bands and blues bands. Meanwhile, cities like New York, Detroit, and London were spawning fresh and innovative—and loud and raw—sounds by musicians creating a new punk and rock movement. A small but daring group of Twin Cities musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts wanted a piece of that action. To do it, they had to build it themselves.

Complicated Fun brings together the recollections of the men and women who built Minnesota’s vibrant and vital indie rock scene. Through interviews with dozens of musicians, producers, managers, journalists, fans, and other scenesters, Cyn Collins chronicles the emergence of seminal bands like the Suicide Commandos, the Hypstrz, Curtiss A, Flamingo, the Suburbs, Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, and more. The subjects reflect on the key role that Oar Folkjokeopus record store, Jay’s Longhorn bar, and Twin/Tone Records played by providing outlets for hearing, performing, and recording these new sounds. Complicated Fun explores the influences, motivations, moments, and individuals that propelled Minneapolis to its status as a premier music scene and, in turn, inspired future generations of rockers.

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