The Cars featured on the cover of City Pages, as a tribute to our very first issue of Sweet Potato


32 years ago, a monthly music magazine called Sweet Potato debuted in the Twin Cities. A perusal of that first issue is a fascinating glimpse at our music history; ads for now-defunct music shops like Third Stone Music and the Wax Museum frame interviews with Lamont Cranston, Little Feat's Lowell George, and Winona newcomers the North Country Band. And the first cover story was a feature on the Cars, who were headed toward the Twin Cities to play an August 15, 1979 gig at Midway Stadium with the Doobie Brothers.

[jump] Of course, this first issue of Sweet Potato carries heavy significance for us here at Gimme Noise and City Pages. Published by Tom Bartel, Sweet Potato transitioned to a biweekly music mag in 1980, then morphed into a weekly newspaper called City Pages on December 3, 1981.

To celebrate this slice of our paper's history, and to coincide with the release of the Cars' first album in 24 years and first ever performance at First Avenue next Tuesday, May 17, we caught up with all four surviving members of the band for an interview, and paid homage to that first issue of Sweet Potato on the cover of this week's paper.

Here is the original Cars cover, which ran on August 1, 1979:

And here is the cover of this week's print edition of City Pages, created using a similar color palette by our art director Mike Kooiman:

You can read our interview with the Cars' Ric Ocasek, Greg Hawkes, Elliot Easton, and David Robinson here, or pick in the print edition of City Pages when it hits stands tomorrow.


For a real blast from the past, we've also uploaded the original Cars piece by Dean Johnson that ran in the August 1, 1979 edition of Sweet Potato to our website. You can read that one here.