Here is a list of some of the local rock ‘n’ roll magazines and books of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. If you know of others or have additions, corrections, or photos, please contact me!
Beat Magazine: John Pratt: “Beat Magazine was a national publication that was sold through various top-40 stations around the country, with editions tailored to each station’s markets. Here, it was KDWB Beat. KRLA had the Los Angeles edition of Beat; below is a cover photo of an October 1967 edition of KRLA Beat.” The address given is Beat Publications, 9125 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles.
I have photocopies of four issues of KDWB Beat. Each has a “local” page centered on the station. The local page from the August 26, 1967, issue (“Special Hippie History Issue”) featured pictures of Twin Cities music industry folk (Tac Hammer, Ira Heilicher, Charlee Brown) with the Jefferson Airplane, the Electric Prunes, and the Shadows of Night during an outing on Lake Minnetonka. The issue also reported on the Monkees concert in NYC, where the opening acts were Lynn Randell and Jimi Hendrix. Micky did his best James Brown imitation.
The local page from October 21, 1967, reports KDWB’s Earl L. Trout III being “jailed” in a charity stunt. It shows him broadcasting live from the corner of 7th and Hennepin, and Minneapolis police “arresting” him and taking him to jail until enough money was raised for the Leukemia Foundation to “bail” him out.
The January 27, 1968, issue featured a silly “history” of KDWB going back to the cave men. It also supported a High School Christmas concert series involving 13 schools from the metro area (including St. Louis Park).
And the February 24, 1968, issue featured KDWB DJ Earl L. Trout III’s national-but-futile letter-writing campaign to bring the Beatles back to the U.S.
Buzz, Published by City Pages (Tom Barthel, Nate Wolk, Ira Heilicher), November 1985 to June 1988, according to microfilm records at the Minnesota Historical Society
Cake: November-December 1990 – 1997, according to microfilm records, Minnesota Historical Society
City Pages: Music and Entertainment, plus news and Features for People Living in the City. Continuation of Sweet Potato Magazine. First issue was December 3, 1981. If you want to know what went on musically in the Twin Cities, City Pages is where to find it. Wish there was something like this before 1975!
Connie’s Insider – See Insider
The Entertainer was published by Metro College from (as far as I can figure) January 23, 1976 to January 7, 1977, according to microfilm at the Minnesota Historical Society. (Started by Mark Hopp?) Continued (with same volume and issue numbering) as the Twin Cities Reader on January 14, 1977 to February 26 – March 4, 1997.
Fanfare was the newsletter of the Minneapolis Musicians’ Union Local 73. Unfortunately I’ve only located a single copy! If it’s as useful as the newsletter issued by their sister (St. Paul Musician, below), it must contain a wealth of information, but nobody seems to have them. The Minneapolis union was incorporated in 1891 and chartered on June 8, 1901. The two unions merged in 1981, and the current newsletter is called (appropriately enough) Duet.
Flip Side: An Illustrated History of Southern Minnesota Rock & Roll Music from 1955-1970; Jim Oldsberg, 1997.
Thee Apostles/Stormy Monday; Little Caesar & The Conspirators; The Chances R; The Continental Co-ets; The D.C. Drifters; The Defiants; The Depressions; The Emperors; The Epicurians/Highway; The Exotics/19th Amendment;; The Ferraris; The Furys; The Gestures/Madhatters; Mike Glieden & the Rhythm Kings; Steve Carl & the Jags; The Korners of Time; Kreed; Leaves of Grass; The Messengers; The Mods; The Mustangs; The Night Crawlers; The Nite-Sounds; The Notorious Noblemen; The Pagans; The Pilgrims; Prince & the Paupers; The Radiants; The Rhythm Rockers; The Rogues; The Secrets; The Shades; The Shags; The Silver Shadows; The Sensational Sleepers; Steve Ellis & the Starfires; The Stingrays; TBI; Us; Vultures; Wire
Hair was an underground paper published in 1968-69. Issue 2’s cover featured a naked girl with a breast in her cereal bowl with the caption “Some mornings nothing goes right!” Publishers and contributors included Evan and Sally Stark, Jack Cann, Steve Kimmel, and Gus and Marsha Slelzer. Much of the content was on local housing news, including reports on the condition of housing, particularly on Nicollet Island. One issue had a long article on “Yellow Submarine” but I couldn’t make out whether they liked it or not. In April 1969 there were very big ads for Labor Temple shows.
Good Times began as the Zenith Express in 1973. Its original audience was college students. The November 12, 1977, issue proclaimed that it focused on entertainment, leisure, sports, arts, dining, and shopping. The Editor was Dave Hill, and the Publisher was Edward J. Molitor. In 1978, Molitor was both the Editor and Publisher.
Hundred Flowers was published from April 17, 1970 to April 4, 1972. The name came from a quote from Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong during a period in 1956 where the Chinese people were encouraged to share their opinions of the regime: “The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend is designed to promote the flourishing of the arts and the progress of science.” The course was soon reversed and may have been a trick to flush out dissidents.
Offices of the magazine were first located in the Eastside Citizens’ Community Center at 100 University Ave., but they reported that they were kicked out. By 1971 they were located at “Liberty House,” 529 Cedar Ave. So., operated by Minneapolis activist Marv Davidov. It was primarily a political underground newspaper, publishing communiques from Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground. But it had some music reviews and ads in it as well. In its January 1, 1971, issue it reported a rash of thefts of local instruments. It also complained that the Depot had withdrawn its free tickets to the paper’s staff because of critical reviews of its concerts. They responded by calling the Depot a “smoky, smelly, overcrowded plastic environment to hear often outrageously loud performances.. pathetic efforts at pleasure.” It also reported on an experiment where pregnant women took LSD. They reported no birth defects, but all the babies turned out to be girls. The sample size was… 10.
In-Beat Magazine (“That’s What’s Happening”): This magazine was published monthly by Steven Kaplan out of his living room. Kaplan sold subscriptions at the Teen Age Fair at the State Fair [presumably August 66] for $2 – each subscriber got a free 45 rpm record, so the subscriptions were essentially free. In-Beat paid Twin City a Go Go (see below) $1500 not to compete. The first issue came out in September 1966.
Kaplan remembers: “we were out only a few issues when we got some good national ads: Sprite automobiles and Clairol products among them. A coup for a small magazine.
“Also, a few months after we were out, the publisher of Where magazine called and wanted to meet. By this time our magazine was hot: I went from being a nerd to being hip in two issues (and back to being a nerd again after we stopped publishing). But we were hot and this publisher wanted us to associate our name with his, so he offered us an office — for free — and, this was the clincher, free meals every day at Luigi’s restaurant, which at that time was on the main floor of the Lumber Exchange, where Where was located (on the 12th floor). We took the office and were able to move out of my apartment. It was a big office and we always kept the doors closed because it reeked of marijuana fumes.
“One of our biggest coups came early in the season. Big names Chad & Jeremy (though, of course, no one today has any idea of who they were) were booked for the fair, but never showed up. It was an outrage and everyone — particularly the mainstream media — was trying to find out what happened. Chad & Jeremy called us, however, and sat down for an explanatory interview with us, the only interview they gave (and, perhaps, the last one anyone ever really cared about). [See 1966 above.]
“Our best time was with James Brown. He had come (maybe to the Flame Ballroom) and we made arrangements to photograph & interview him. Brown was my personal idol and I couldn’t wait to see him perform. We went to the concert and though it was sold out, there was hardly a white guy there: maybe 3 or 4 in the whole place (Danny & I were half of that). When the show was over we went back stage where Brown, who was indeed the hardest working guy in show business, was sitting at a chair with an attendant at both legs, each unlacing his high-laced boots. I started asking him my brilliant questions when he stopped me. “This is no place to do an interview,” he said, and, of course, he was right. “Why don’t you guys fly back with me to Cincinnati. That way we can do the interview on the plane, and it will be quiet and we won’t be rushed. After I’ll put you guys up in a hotel and in the morning we’ll tour King Records.” And that’s exactly what we did. We flew back in his Lear Jet, he, James Foxx, Danny & I. The plane’s interior was about as big as a restaurant booth, and the loudspeakers played Vivaldi.”
The (final?) issue of In-Beat came out in August 1967. Kaplan and friends went to San Francisco for the Monterey Pop concert in 1967, where hippies were in and teenage fanzines were out, and that was the end of In-Beat. Kaplan now edits the magazine Minnesota Law and Politics.
Insider: The story of the Insider is first and foremost the story of Colman W. “Connie” Hechter. Born in 1935 and a graduate of North High, in the 1950s Connie was a percussionist playing exotic Afro-Cuban music and Calypso in Dinkytown. After attending the University of Minnesota, he became a promoter for Mercury Records. Back in Minnesota, Connie saw a void in the local music scene and was inspired to start a publication that served both fans and musicians.
The Insider began in about April 1966 as the T.M.C. Insider, a four page mimeographed newsletter put out by Trestman Music Center and edited by Timothy D. Kehr. It was strictly a trade sheet for the burgeoning teenage musicians in the Twin Cities (one estimate was that there were 4,000 of them). “The Blue Musical Voice of the Midwest,” it had news about the local groups, ads for Trestman and band instruments, and featured an instructional column called “Drummers’ Beat.” Connie acted as publisher, editor, and reporter, with Trestman Music Center acting as a sponsor.
In the summer of 1967 the magazine became independent and changed its name to Connie’s Insider. In addition to features on artists, concert and album reviews it was also a trade magazine for musicians, with reviews of new equipment, musician want ads, profiles of studios and booking agencies, ads by instrument manufacturers and booking agents, and directories of local bands, clubs, A&R men, and more. The magazine was specifically for and about the people of Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. Looking on-line at the holdings of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Hennepin County Library (downtown-Special Collections), it would appear that the last Connie’s Insider was the July/August 1971 issue.
In September 1971 the name was changed again to The Insider, a decision made by new editor Tom Murtha. As both distribution and content grew, Connie brought in a growing staff to tackle the added responsibilities. Connie’s roots at the University of Minnesota played an important role in this search as future editors like Peter Dwyer, photographers like Judy Olausen, Mike Barich, Jeff DeBevec, and others were all alums. Hechter passed away on January 23, 1978 in Los Angeles. The last issue of the Insider appears to have been May/June 1978.
On December 1, 1978, the publication became the Musician’s Insider. The last issue at the Minnesota Historical Society is dated May 1979.
Connie’s legacy also includes the Connie Awards, presented to musicians and others in the industry from 1967 through 1970.
Johnny Green and the Greenmen by Mark Starks, 2010. Available at Lulu
Little Sandy Review, edited by Paul Nelson and Jon Pankake, 1960-1968
This was a little paperback-sized magazine that contained mostly reviews of folk recordings. Although the issues are not dated, it is estimated that the first issue came out in March 1960. Initial cost was 30 cents, and the office was listed as 3220 Park Ave. So. in Minneapolis. The name was a poke at the “Little Sandys” (girls who wanted to be Sandra Dee) on campus. There was not much local content. The editors were folk and blues purists, and launched often hilarious blasts at “all phonies who water, dilute, and pervert” folk music. It was very clear who they liked and who they thought were purveyors of “folkum.”
- Woody Guthrie
- Pete Seeger
- New Lost City Ramblers
- Dylan’s first album
- Peggy Seeger
- Joan Baez (off and on)
- Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
- Jean Ritchie
- Carter Family
- Cisco Houston
- Koerner, Ray, and Glover
- Stringbean (“important, gifted, and versatile country musician”)
- Harry “Belaphoney”
- Kingston Trio
- Bud and Travis
- Josh White (“basks in moneyed glow of the expense account set”)
- Glenn Yarborough (“sounds like a male Judy Garland”)
- Odetta (“a poor musician”)
- The Weavers (“not much more ‘folk’ than Jo Stafford – just know how to play-act better”)
- Burl Ives (“darling of suburban matrons”)
- Jimmie Rodgers (mad because he claimed he wrote traditional songs)
- Smothers Brothers (“not folk and not funny”)
- Peter, Paul, and Mary (“atrocious artificially canned, commercial enthusiasm”)
Barry Hanson was the main blues reviewer – he went on to become Dr. Demento. He moved west but continued to contribute. In January 1964 the magazine graduated to professional printing and slick paper and the price went up to 85 cents. The next issue came out in March and was $1. Then there was a gap until 1965. After that started Volume 2 in July 1966, and the magazine had moved to California, edited solely by Hanson, although Nelson (who had moved to New York to work at Sing Out!) and Pankake had offered to contribute. Another three issues came out but the last was in about February 1968. Bound copies are available to read at the downtown Minneapolis library.
Lost and Found: a ’50s/’60s Rock & Roll ‘Zine; Jim Oldsberg
Volume 1: Minnesota/Iowa. Out of print
*Volume 2: Minnesota/Wisconsin, 1993.
Jades, Benders, Velquins, DelRicos, Flames, Faros, Memories, Private Property of Digil, Lord Verley, fMoss & The Moss Men, Denny Noie/In Crowd/4th of Never, Journeymen, Target/Tee Pee Records, Yetti-Men, Calico Wall, Crucible, Galaxies, Spacement, Aldon & the E.C.s/Thundermen, Ray Peters
Volume 3: Illinois/Minnesota. Out of Print.
Volume 4: North and South Dakota, 1997. Out of Print.
Terry Lee & the Poorboys, Davey Bee & the Sonics, Ronnie Ray & the Playboys, Dale Gregory & the Shouters, Bobby Vee & the Shadows, Boss Tweads, Treasures, Myron Lee & the Caddies, Pawnbrokers, Steve Rowe & the Furies, Fragile Zookeeper, Escorts Four, Jay Bee & the Kats, Richie Wynn & the Tornadoes, Bleach Boys, Shattoes/Chateaux, Ken Mills, Sir Laurence & the Crescents
*Volume 5: Northern Minnesota. Back in Print! See Amazon.com
Rockets, Little John & the Sherwood Men, Reveliers, Renowns, Tommy Lee & the Orbits, Jeujene & the Jaybops, Canoise, Avengers, Pretenders, Chet Orr & the Rumbles, Howie Butler & the Reflections, Outcasts, Titans, Sounds Like Us, Devilles, Vaqueros, Unbelievable Uglies, Novas
Machete was published from December 15, 1978 to December 1980, according to microfilm records at the Minnesota Historical Society.
Metanoia was a local arts magazine. In 1968 it was said to have a circulation of 5,000, mostly college students and instructors.
- Issue #2: The Evanescene Issue, 1967
- Issue #3: Poetry, Art, Views, Reviews. Published by M.T. Thomson, Paul Kihiman, Richard Zarro, David Thomson, Hopkins – 25 cents.
- Issue #4: Art, Poetry, Political Reviews: M.T. Thomson, David B. Thomson, Paul Kihlman, 2108 4th Ave. So.
- Issue #5: Slick paper, cost raised to 40 cents. “Explorations for a change of heart”
- Issue #6: October-November 1968. David Thomson, Editor; M.T. Thomson, Associate Editor. 2721 E. 42nd St. “Change of Heart”
- Issue #7: December – January 1969. Lost advertising; no longer slick; still 40 cents. David Thomson, Editor and Publisher; Susan Olson, Associate Editor. 1805 Emerson Ave. So.
Metropolis was published by Walter N. Rothschild II from October 19, 1976 to September 6, 1977, according to microfilm records at the Minnesota Historical Society.
The Midwest 60s Rock Art Collection by Tom W. Tourville, 1996. Features the Legendary Danceland Collection. Out of Print.
The Minneapolis Flag was a do-it-yourself newsletter than was political and musical, with some concert reviews in the April 10, 1970, issue. Classifieds were placed mostly by musicians and by photographers looking for “nice looking liberated chicks” to do nude modeling.
Minnesota Music Directory was first published in March 1981 by Sweet Potato Magazine, and then each February from 1982 to 1987 by the City Pages. (Perhaps more but these are what the Minnesota Historical Society Library has in hard copy.)
Minnesota Rocked! The 1960s; Tom W. Tourville, 1966 (the fourth edition was the last that I know of). This is an amazing list of Minnesota bands and their recordings. Out of Print.
Music Legends: a Rewind on the Minnesota Music Scene; Martin Keller, D Media, Inc., 2007. See Amazon.
B Sharp Music published Music Scene, a competitor to the Insider. It had a wider audience than the first issues of the Insider, with bios of local and national musicians. All 17 issues of this four-page newsletter came out in 1967. The newsletter was written by Timothy D. Kehr.
Musicians’ Insider was the successor to the Insider that had been published by Connie Hechter. Hecter died in 1978 and this magazine was published by Sherwood-Kirby Publications from December 1, 1978 to May 1979, according to microfilm records at the Minnesota Historical Society.
New Twin Citian: See Select
On the Rocks came to my attention thanks to Jeff Kleinbaum. This issue, Volume 2, Number 1, is from July 1989.
Pulse of the Twin Cities is published by Edwin Felien: Issues from April 9-16, 1997 to May 16-23, 2007, are available on microfilm at the Minnesota Historical Society. Back articles from 2002 to 2007 are on the Pulse website.
St. Paul Musician was the newsletter of the St. Paul Musician’s Union. It is basically an internal document, but it often has lists of venues and the names of the bands or musicians who are playing there. Mostly it gripes about those rock ‘n’ rollers and how nobody wants to listen to old-time music anymore. The Minneapolis and St. Paul Musicians’ Unions merged in 1981.
See Minneapolis was a tourist guide to the hotspots of the city, published by Howard L. Goldberg. It has huge color ads of some iconic venues.
See Twin Cities was yet another tourist guide, published by Robert L. Tait. The first volume came out on April 5, 1968. It lasted until about July 1971, but by then it had devolved to printing a lot of ads for “saunas.”
Select was not a music publication per se, but it did have a lot of great ads for night clubs for the sophisticated members of Twin Cities society. It also published a great directory of restaurants and night clubs each year. Copies are available at the Minnesota Historical Society. The progression of the magazine was:
- Select... The Magazine of Quality for Discriminating Minneapolis (September 1958 – February 1959)
- Select Minneapolis (March to April 1959)
- Select St. Paul (July 1959 to July 1960). Heavy on Hi-Fi ads.
- Select: Twin Cities Review of Fashion, Travel, Arts and Society (May 1959 to March 1962)
- Select Twin Citian: Minneapolis/St. Paul Review of Fashion, Travel, Arts and Society (April/May1962 – July 1963. Incorporated FM radio program listings in July 1962.
- Twin Citian: Minneapolis/St. Paul Review of Fashion, Travel, Arts and Society (August 1963 – June 1964) (Also see 1990 version of Twin Citian below)
- New Twin Citian (January to December, 1970). Included program listings for WLOL radio; no pop music listings
A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks; Andy Gill and Kevin Odegard; Da Capo Press, 2004.
Sweet Potato: This precursor to the City Pages started as a monthly in August 1979. The publisher was Tom Bartel and Martin Keller was the Editor (then the Music Editor). Sweet Potato sponsored the first Minnesota Music Awards (nicknamed the Yammies) in 1981. The last edition of the magazine was November 25, 1981, where it announced that the name was being changed to City Pages.
TMC Insider – See Insider
Trax Magazine, “The music monthly,” was published from September 1979 to August 1980, according to microfilm records at the Minnesota Historical Society.
Twin Citian (1963-1964: See Select)
Twin Citian: Published by Adams Publications, 1990
Twin Cities Reader: Began as The Entertainer, which was published by Metro College from (as far as I can figure) January 23, 1976 to January 7, 1977, according to microfilm at the Minnesota Historical Society. (Started by Mark Hopp?) Continued (with same volume and issue numbering) as the Twin Cities Reader on January 14, 1977 to February 26 – March 4, 1997.
Twin Cities Nightbeat: Published by Twin Cities Reader. Published biweekly starting December 1983; unclear how long it was/still is? published.
Twin City a-GoGo (“The magazine for Twin City Young Adults on the Go”): Editors were David Jass (vice-president of Young Adult Productions and son of Twin Cities television personality Mel Jass) and Bruce Goldstein (associated with Century Camera). This was a jam-packed publication. The first issue in May 1965 featured the Chancellors on the cover (see right). Free subscriptions were available until October 1, 1965. It grew to be a very popular publication: In 1965 there were 3 staff members, and by January 1966 there were 30.
David Jass remembers:
We started all of this at the Teen Fair at the Minnesota State Fair . I think the teen fair only lasted that one time. We had a life-size display of the Beatles. Get your picture taken with the Beatles was a hit. It cost $.75. We also sold what we called go go hammers. The idea was to hit members of the opposite sex with them. It was a plastic hammer deal with accordion yellow ends that make a loud “pop” sound. We hired young ladies in swimming suits and tennis shoes to sell them. What a hit. By the 4th day of the Teen Fair we chartered an airplane to fly in more hammers. The last day of the fair I was in a cab going home. I had only one hammer left. Broken. The cab driver said his son had to have one. He paid me $1.75 for it. We also had kids sign up with name, phone, and address if they would be interested in a magazine for teens in Minnesota. Thus the list of finally 10,000 names.
I have the original copy of a’ GoGo . It is a small digest size mag of around 10 pages. Bruce and I wrote all the articles using pseudonyms. My fashion column “fling into spring” was my most memorable. We sold advertising to local businesses. Enough money was made to pay the rent for our office (above the Cascade 9 Bar and Grill in Mpls) and other expenses. Nancy Nelson was our secretary. We hired kids to call the rock n roll radio stations to plug our magazine. The radio stations started getting suspicious and stopped taking these calls. Kids would then call pretending some other “teen” topic and then slip in how much they loved Twin City A Go Go.
When the Beatles came to the Twin Cities, I had a room one floor below them at some motel in Mpls. I met them, not much talking, but a thrill for me. I was 21 at the time. During their press conference one of our guys (Karnstedt) tossed some issues of our magazine (#2) at the interview table. The boys picked them up and started clowning around with them. Our 3rd issue shows them with our magazine. Kind of cool.
I left the corporation shortly after this escapade. My partner Bruce Goldstein continued for maybe one more issue. He began selling our list of 10,000 subscribers. I think that he sold the magazine, which was to become InBeat.
“Well, lots of memories here. I’ m now 64 years old. Have spent my working life as a teacher, social worker, and contractor. Have now lived in San Diego California for the last 30 years.
The Visitor – This Week in Minneapolis was one of many publications aimed at people in area hotels looking for a good time while in the Mill City. Although copies I’ve found start on January 10, 1948, the cover says it was established in 1934 – would love to see those! In 1948 it was published by John Q. Dunsworth, and James Mithun was the Editor. The publication apparently ended on January 4, 1964.
Twin City Where was a nationally franchised magazine that published here in about 1966. Howard Goldenberg was the editor. It included many ads for restaurants and clubs (complete with reviews), weekly concert schedules, and toward the end, ads for massage parlors.
There may have been another Where. At Special Collections at the Downtown library there are copies from October 1967 to 2006.
Marcia from Marcia and the Lynchmen reports that they were one of the teen bands highlighted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press Pictorial Magazine, June 5, 1966, “Those Teen Bands.” The article was entitled “Behind the Twang of the Guitar” and the text was by Bill Diehl. Maddie Shay scanned her copy for us!