Memories

--Heidi Arneson,
playwright and performance artist

I've got a really sad summer story because last summer my boyfriend broke up with me really really bad because he's crap. And this song "Legs" was playing, you know, that ZZ Top song which really sucks. He used to dis me because I've got short, fat, squat legs and that was like a big issue with him. I see him at the Uptown Bar with this leggy blonde, she's just a bitch from hell, dumb as a box basically, and so that song really sucks for me. On the other hand, a couple of months ago that song was playing and this guy bought me and the whole bar a round of drinks. It was kind of fun so I've kind of got bittersweet memories about the song "Legs" by ZZ Top.

--Elizabeth Duncan,
patron 617 Bar, northeast Minneapolis

The standout memory for me was last summer at First Avenue; I was doing monitors for Radiohead and it was an all-ages show. It was a teen angst anthem, "Black Star," I think. It was very hot and everyone was very sweaty. And right down in front of the stage, this one gal folded her arms around a guy and he folded his arms around her and these big tears came rolling out of her eyes. I swear to god they almost lifted up into the crowd it was so transcendent, a great rock & roll moment. It was so pure--pure teen summer love--the kind you drive around in a car and think about for the rest of your life.

--Barry Haney,
sound/production person and
drummer for the Shivers

I have a black '64 Plymouth Valiant convertible. You can get about six people in it and it's got a really nice radio, you can be going like 60 miles an hour and still hear it perfectly cruising up and down East River Road or around the lakes. "The Grange" by ZZ Top is my summer song, but I'm most excited this summer about hearing anything by the Jon Spenser Blues Explosion because it's teenage sexuality that just goes with summer. The Valiant's only got an AM radio so I listen to Radio K and the swing station, KLBB, or 950 [Solid Gold Soul]. The drive-ins are the best destination--the Valley Hi is a cool one--or going to Hidden Beach late at night. I don't understand why they don't make radios like this anymore. It's a punchbutton radio and the car is a punchbutton automatic too, so to switch gears is the same thing as switching radio stations; it's really bizarre. I store it all winter and I just pine for it. I break it out as soon as the snow stops. It's out Memorial Day to Halloween. I drive down the road and all these leaves comes flying out.

--Jim Musil,
founder, former DJ at Radio K

I was about 14 with my friend Carol Cunnington and we were living in southeast Minneapolis, like 15th and Sheridan, and we stole every type of liquor from our parents' liquor cabinet, went up to the gas station and stole some cigarettes, smoked 'em all, got home and she puked all over my room. We started burning incense and my dad walked in; there's like piles of puke with clothes on top of it and we're singing and dancing to the song "Superfreak" and all he said was "please turn down the music."

--Karen Gillespie, massage therapist

Interviews by Mary Ellen Egan, Amanda Ferguson, Pete Hilgendorf, Dara Moskowitz, and Britt Robson. CP

The music of your high school years is the music of your life. I graduated from high school in Kenyon, Minnesota, in 1945, shortly after the war in Europe ended. Back in those days, all you ever heard on the radio was big band music. There was a club in New York called The Twenty One. And it just happened that there were 21 steps from the street up to the second floor of this place in Kenyon, so we called it Club 21. There was a juke box, a little barbie under the refrigerator, and we used to make hot dogs and buns. There was always a couple of sets of parents that would be chaperones.

"The Jersey Bounce," "In The Mood," "The Boogie Woogie Blues," a lot of them were jive dances that came out of that era. They came every every few weeks and changed the records; they got played so much, they probably weren't worth much. When we did the boogie woogie dances, every once in a while the druggist from downstairs would come up yelling, "Knock it off! The bottles are coming off my shelves down there!"

Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola were a nickel. Pepsi came in bigger bottles. The slogan went, "Pepsi Cola is the one for you, twice as much for your nickel too." We felt very lucky if we had enough to get a couple of bottles of pop for the evening, or a hot dog for a dime. There was a back entrance, required by fire ordinance, a staircase that went down behind the building with sort of a landing out there, and if it was really hot you could go out there and get cool enough to go back in and do your boogie woogie another time. When you're in high school, you're really hopping for the music, the juices are flowing. I assume it's still that way.

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