First Avenue celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 1990. This year the club celebrates its second 20.
One look at the stars and names painted on the club's outside walls, and you'll see music royalty rubbing elbows with lesser known, but equally great, acts. Prince, the Replacements, James Brown, and REM have all graced the stage at this Minneapolis institution.
The deco building, on the corner of 7th Street and First Ave, opened in 1937 as the Northland-Greyhound Bus Depot.
Buses had moved out by 1968, and by 1970 the space became known as "the Depot" and hosted rock shows. The Depot changed ownership and names a number of times during that first decade, even becoming part of a chain of discos called "Uncle Sam's" (it was the 70's after all). On New Years Eve 1981, the club was re-named again. This time as "First Avenue."
Bill Wareham reports.
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