Jay's Longhorn Bar

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Jerry Harrison (L) and David Byrne (R) of Talking Heads perform at Jay's Longhorn Bar in August 1978

Jay's Longhorn Bar, most frequently referred to by patrons as The Longhorn, was a nexus of the punk music scene in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the late 1970s and early 1980s,[1] described by music critics as a "legendary"[2] part of the genre's history and a "punk rocker's paradise."[3] One of the earliest clubs in America to book punk, New Wave, and alternative-rock bands on a regular basis,[4] the Longhorn was the only concert stage in Minnesota where touring acts in those genres could regularly perform until the opening of what would become First Avenue in 1980.[5] "The Police, Blondie, all the big acts played there,"[6] wrote Hüsker Dü guitarist Bob Mould, who frequented the venue and noted that he considered Hüsker Dü "an actual band" only after they had performed on the Longhorn stage.

It was also an important crucible of the local punk-rock scene, and was notable as the first bar ever played by both of the scene's most highly influential bands, Hüsker Dü (on May 13, 1979)[7] and The Replacements (on July 2, 1980).[8] Replacements manager and founder of influential label Twin/Tone Peter Jesperson was also a DJ at the Longhorn during that time,[9] and signed the band to Twin/Tone immediately after that performance.[10]

Located at 14 S. 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis, the Longhorn was opened by owner Jay Berine on June 1, 1977,[11] with help from general manager-artist director-musician Al Wodtke (of Badfinger, KYX, Crow, and Apostles). The Longhorn became a notable punk rock and hardcore punk venue, booking bands such as The Clash, Buzzcocks, Gang of Four,[12] Talking Heads, Dead Boys, Robert Gordon, Mink De Ville,[13] Iggy Pop, The Stranglers,[14] The Flamin' Oh's, The Suburbs, the Suicide Commandos,[15] the Hypstrz, Naked Raygun, The Effigies, The Ramones, Pere Ubu, Lily Tomlin, The Plasmatics,[16] Elvis Costello, Curtiss A, and The Nerves. Before it was an established punk rock venue, the Longhorn hosted a thriving jazz scene. It was home base for the progressive jazz group Natural Life and brought with it many national and international jazz acts.[17]

Chris Osgood, singer-guitarist of the Suicide Commandos, described the Longhorn as "like CBGB in that it was a long bar with a low ceiling and the band was up on a riser at one end of the room. It had been a Nino's Steakhouse before it turned into a bar, so it was not a dump."[18]

In popular culture[edit]

Nostalgia for the heyday of the venue was the focus of Minnesota musician Dylan Hicks' song "The Longhorn Days" from his 1998 album Poughkeepsie.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walsh 2007, p. 28
  2. ^ Walsh 2007, p. 146
  3. ^ Metsa 2011, p. 57
  4. ^ Kozek, Roman (1977-11-12). "Punk rock scene shows spate of new club outlets". Billboard: 1, 44. Retrieved 2014-09-15. 
  5. ^ Cost, J., Earles, A., Fritch, M., Hickey, M., Klinge, S., Miller, E., Olson, D., Rowland, H., Ryan, M., and Valania, J.: A Tale Of Twin Cities: Hüsker Dü, The Replacements And The Rise And Fall Of The ’80s Minneapolis Scene, Magnet, June 12, 2005.
  6. ^ Mould 2011, p. 18
  7. ^ Mould 2011, p. 18
  8. ^ Walsh 2007, p. 11
  9. ^ Walsh 2007, p. 61
  10. ^ Walsh 2007, p. 63
  11. ^ Kozek, Roman (1977-11-12). "Punk rock scene shows spate of new club outlets". Billboard: 1, 44. Retrieved 2014-09-15. 
  12. ^ Mould 2011, p. 21
  13. ^ Kozek, Roman (1977-11-12). "Punk rock scene shows spate of new club outlets". Billboard: 1, 44. Retrieved 2014-09-15. 
  14. ^ "PunkFunkRockPop: The Minnesota Music Collection". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2014-09-15. 
  15. ^ Mould 2011, p. 13
  16. ^ Walsh 2007, p. 99
  17. ^ Metsa 2011, p. 57
  18. ^ Cost, J., Earles, A., Fritch, M., Hickey, M., Klinge, S., Miller, E., Olson, D., Rowland, H., Ryan, M., and Valania, J.: A Tale Of Twin Cities: Hüsker Dü, The Replacements And The Rise And Fall Of The ’80s Minneapolis Scene, Magnet, June 12, 2005.
Bibliography
  • Metsa, Paul (2011). Blue Guitar Highway. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-1452933214. 
  • Mould, Bob (2011). See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody. Little, Brown, and Company. ISBN 0-316-04508-X. 
  • Walsh, Jim (2007). The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting. Voyageur Press. ISBN 0-760-33062-X. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°58′45.82″N 93°16′17.71″W / 44.9793944°N 93.2715861°W / 44.9793944; -93.2715861