This page lists the sources used for the Depot/Uncle Sam’s/Sam’s venue page. In most cases, the source of the information is given within the document. In other instances, sources are identified by abbreviations. I’m putting this rather cumbersome list of sources here so it doesn’t muck up the main page, and to allow you to toggle between the two pages as needed.
If there are any sources of information you think I have missed, please feel free to contact me.
As always, photo credits are provided for each image shared with me to post. I want to especially thank some people for their special help.
Huge thanks to Mike Barich for allowing me to post some of the hundreds of photos that he took of Depot shows as staff photographer for Connie’s Insider. Mike’s negatives had been stored in his basement for decades before David Roth of tpt volunteered to scan them for Mike. Thank you, David!! These photos are priceless in telling the story of what it was like during the glory days of the Depot.
Darrell Brand shared his Joe Cocker photos early on, and when I saw some of his photos of the Gathering in the Depot event, he sent me those too. Darrell has had quite a career in photography and I thank him for sharing the fruits of his early labors with us.
P.S. I sent this picture to Darrell on his birthday, which was just days after Mike identified him, and Darrell not only said that he was wearing his favorite shirt, but demonstrated that, 50 years later, he still had it and it still fit!
Thanks as well to Mark Freiseis for sharing his collection of posters from Depot shows that he obtained by removing them from bulletin boards, etc. after the concerts and stashing them under his bed! They are now beautifully framed; many of the images you see here were photographed through the glass, so you can see Mike for yourself!
Steven Laboe took thousands of photos during the Uncle Sam’s era, and has been generously sharing them on his Facebook page and with me. Unfortunately, many more slides of the live acts during that time were lost through miscommunication, and I commiserate with Steve with that terrible loss. But many more photos remain, and you will see several on this site.
I found several excellent photos in Chris Riemenscheider’s book on First Avenue, and after obtaining permission from the various people who had provided them, they were sent to me for posting by Josh Leventhal of the Minnesota Historical Society Press, the publisher of the book. He did this while working at home, a tremendous feat, and I thank him for doing it so quickly.
Sources fall into four categories:
1. PRIMARY SOURCES
First and foremost I have used primary documents to the greatest extent possible. I have been able to get incredibly helpful documents from the City of Minneapolis, the State of Minnesota, the Hennepin County Courts, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. These materials are a matter of public record and can be accessed by anyone.
MLD: City of Minneapolis Licenses and Consumer Services Division
On November 7, 2019, I made a request to the Minneapolis City Clerk for all information on file related to the liquor license at 29 N. 7th Street aka 701 N. First Avenue, from 1970 to 1983. On January 17, 2020, I received 113 pages of documents. Most of these documents were copies of the annual applications made by The Committee, Inc. for renewal of their Class A on-sale liquor license and related materials.
On January 30, 2020, I made a subsequent request for materials related to the Committee, Inc. On February 10, 2020, I received 26 additional pages of materials. Most of these were signed contracts and agreements.
I have also received two detailed emails in response to my questions from Enrique Velasquez, Manager, Licenses & Consumer Services Division, Department of Community Planning & Economic Development.
The City of Minneapolis has gone above and beyond to find requested documents and answer my questions.
SS: Secretary of State
Documents were requested regarding filings for the organizations listed below. These were accessed online. Go to the Business and Liens section.
- 2M, Inc.
- The Committee, Inc.
- Minneapolis Entertainment, Inc. (The Minnesota Scene, Inc.)
- F-Troop LLC
- 701 Ventures, Inc.
- First Avenue Productions LLC
- First Avenue Productions, Inc. (not affiliated with First Avenue)
Bankruptcy Documents Accessed Through PACER.GOV
BP: Voluntary Petition for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Case No. 04-46176, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota, November 2, 2004
BPA: Bankruptcy Purchase Agreement between Committee Estate Trustee John R. Stoebner and F-Troop LLC, November 5, 2004
Trustee’s Final Report and Proposed Distribution, In Re: The Committee First Avenue, Case No. 04-46176, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota, July 9, 2007
The Committee, Inc., John R. Stoebner, Trustee vs Allan Fingerhut and Rose Fingerhut. Case No. 04-46176, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota, March 3, 2005
I have used the newspapers.com database heavily to access relevant articles. Newspapers don’t always get it right, but for the most part these articles include “soft” reports with descriptions, interviews, and observations. They are also extremely useful in dating events. These sources are all listed within the document itself, as applicable, with newspaper name and date.
Newspapers.com is available on a subscription basis for about $30/six months.
Other publications like City Pages and the Twin City Reader are on microfilm at the Minnesota Historical Society. I haven’t gone through them as thoroughly as I would like.
Tom Campbell and Denny Johnson miraculously came in possession of almost a complete set of Connie’s Insiders, and allowed me to copy them. These are priceless sources of information about the music scene in the Twin Cities from 1967 to 1978. Connie didn’t have much to say about Uncle Sam’s, but covered the Depot extensively. Thanks so much to Tom (minniepaulmusic.com) for sharing these with me.
Other copies of Connie’s Insiders were shared with me by Dennis Libby, including the elusive first and second issues!
3. SECONDARY SOURCES
I have used blogs, magazine articles, books, and similar materials sparingly. (I probably haven’t found them all.) These secondary sources have many errors and contradictions. They are identified with codes shown below and information from them is sometimes in brackets if I wasn’t able to substantiate the information. These secondary sources will be clearly identified, and the amount of salt taken is up to you.
CR: First Avenue: Minnesota’s Mainroom by Chris Riemenschneider: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2017
CRM: “Prince of Clubs,” by George Dixon, Corporate Report Minnesota, August 1985
Current 2014: “Steve McClellan talks about the early days of First Avenue and DEMO’s bright future:” The Current, Andrea Swensson, November 20, 2014
Hi Jinx and Hearsay, by Martin Keller: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2019
Inc.com: “Case Study: His rock club was in ruins. His partnership was crumbling. Could Allan Fingerhut save his business and his friendship?” by Lora Kolodny, inc.com magazine, May 1, 2005
Journal: “First Avenue closes?? For good?” by Sarah McKenzie, The Journal. This article is dated April 25, 2007, on the Internet, but it obviously was published in November 2004.
Matos: “Everybody Is a Star: How the Rock Club First Avenue Made Minneapolis the Center of Music in the ’80s” by Michaelangelo Matos, March 14, 2016, on an online news source called Pitchfork.
MINNPOST: “A brief history of Minneapolis’ First Avenue” by Ehsan Alam, November 27, 2017
MM: “Not Your Father’s First Avenue,” by Andrea Swensson, Minnesota Monthly, July 18, 2013
“The Most Influential Movers and Shakers of the Twin Cities Music Community,” 1990
MPR: “The Future of First Avenue,” by Chris Roberts, Minnesota Public Radio, July 2, 2004
NYT: “First Avenue Is Dead (Long Live First Avenue!),” By David Carr, New York Times, Nov. 15, 2004
SN: “A 20-Year Milestone: First Avenue weathers changin’ times,” by D.L. Mabery, Skyway News, December 26, 1990
30th: First Avenue 30th Anniversary booklet, 2000
TCB: “First Avenue Keeps Bringing the Minneapolis Sound:” Twin Cities Business, November 1, 2009
The least reliable source, of course, is a human being trying to remember something from 50 years ago! Memories fade. Perceptions change. Like the Rolling Stones at Danceland, I will include everything, and if there are competing versions, you the reader can decide who to believe. Any material from an individual will be clearly identified as such. But these people were THERE, and they have been very generous with their time and patience. I very much appreciate the help given to me by the following people:
- SM: Stephen Thomas McClellan – several conversations and emails
- DS: Danny Stevens – Three meetings, several emails.
- AF: Allan Fingerhut – phone interview
- BF: Byron Frank – phone interview
- SG: Sharron Grohoski – phone interviews
- JM: Jack Meyers – phone interview