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RIP Terry Katzman, key figure in the development of Twin Cities rock in the ’80s and beyond

Terry Katzman posing with the 2017 box set 'Savage Young Dü.' Most of its music for the collection came from his tapes.

Terry Katzman posing with the 2017 box set 'Savage Young Dü.' Most of its music for the collection came from his tapes. Courtesy of HiFi Hair & Records

Terry Katzman, a central figure in the Minneapolis rock scene of the 1980s and a continuing presence in local music throughout his life, died last Friday, November 8. He was 64. The cause of death is not yet known.

Katzman released the earliest Hüsker Dü singles. He did sound for Hüsker Dü and the Replacements. As a record store employee, he introduced countless young musicians to music that would shape the sound of Twin Cities indie rock. And he remained involved with the music in his hometown up until his death.

Katzman was an early champion of Hüsker Dü, and the first person to write about the band, in Sweet Potato (the music paper that would become City Pages). “I was there when no one liked them—most people don’t understand, I had to keep telling people they were really good,” he told City Pages in 2017.

Katzman started Reflex Records with the Hüskers and put out their first single, “Statues,” and their first album, Everything Falls Apart. Reflex released records by locals such as Rifle Sport and Man Sized Action, as well as the 1985 Minutemen EP Tour-Spiel.

Katzman was also the Replacements’ first sound man. The audio of the MPD shutting down a 1982 house party that leads off the Replacements’  Stink? Katzman recorded that.

But perhaps more than anything, looking back at Katzman’s life reminds us how integral record stores were to the growth of local rock. As a staffer at Oar Folkjokeopus on 26th and Lyndale, alongside his friend Peter Jesperson, his recommendations influenced the tastes of the bands for which Minneapolis would become best known.

After a fire gutted Oar Folk in 1984, Katzman, along with Jim Peterson and Paul Stark, opened Garage D'Or Records up the road at 26th and Nicollet. He also started a record label of the same name in 1997. The store moved to Lake and Lyndale the following year, and closed up in 2001.

Katzaman ran the “records” half of HiFi Hair & Records near Loring Park, and was still issuing albums by young bands. Katzman continued working with local bands, and “still went out a few nights a week to check out new Minneapolis bands and clubs,” according to his official obituary in the Star Tribune. Facebook testimonials from friends throughout Minneapolis music have been pouring in since the announcement of his death.

Katzman is survived by his wife, Penny, and his two children. He spent his last day alive in L.A., record shopping with Peter Jesperson.