St. Paul, Minn. (March 16, 2020) – Twin Cities PBS (TPT) premieres a new documentary “First Avenue: Closer to the Stars” in celebration of the storied club’s 50th anniversary. The documentary is the latest in the Minnesota Experience series – programming that dives into bygone eras and holds history up to the modern moment unveiling insights about what it means to be Minnesotan.
Many think they know the story of First Avenue from Prince’s movie, “Purple Rain,” but the club has a long and colorful past with many having toiled backstage to keep this landmark standing. “First Avenue: Closer to the Stars” dives deep into the true story of the legendary Minneapolis nightclub. From the days of Woodstock, through disco, punk and hip-hop this “pirate ship that goes nowhere” has weathered the storm – just barely.
“When I was too young to go see my favorite bands at a bar, I would sneak into First Avenue and I would see Steve McClellan, the czar of Minneapolis music,” said David Roth, co-producer of the documentary. “I have always felt indebted to this place for exposing us to culture, and while it took thousands of people to keep the club open, it has always felt like it’s Steve’s story.”
Narrated by Minneapolis’ hip-hop artist and part of Doomtree, Stefon Alexander (also known as P.O.S), the documentary will premiere on Monday, March 30 at 9:00 P.M. (CT) on TPT2. The documentary features testimony from:
- Steve McClellan – Former Manager of First Avenue
- Allan Fingerhut – Founder of First Avenue
- Roy Freedom – First Avenue DJ
- Kevin Cole – First Avenue DJ
- Dave Pirner – Soul Asylum
- Tommy Stinson – The Replacements
- Lori Barbero – Babes in Toyland
- Craig Finn – The Hold Steady
- Sean “Slug” Daley – Atmosphere
The documentary will also be available for streaming on the PBS Video App and on tpt.org. Find a trailer of the documentary here.