Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 17: Sneaking In for Ten-Cent Beers

Today’s RNRHS comes from Minneapolis music legend, Chris Osgood.  When I started interning at Twin/Tone Records in 1987, I was just an eager, U of M sophomore from the suburbs of St. Paul.  I had led a somewhat sheltered musical existence.  I thought the Urban Guerrillas were dangerous.  I didn’t know a lot about Chris Osgood or his band, The Suicide Commandos, but I was smart enough to know the most important piece of information–all of those bands I loved? The Replacements? Soul Asylum? Husker Du? The Suburbs? Well, they may have never existed without the Commandos, a band that created an all-new, loud and fast rock landscape in Minneapolis, just as the Ramones did in NY and The Sex Pistols did in England. The first time I met Paul Westerberg, I was introduced by Chris, backstage at a Replacements show. It was like being introduced to Al Pacino by Jack Nicholson. No question, both men worthy of untold amounts of praise and worship for what they do so well, but it was apparent in Westerberg’s eyes that Chris was the real rock star backstage that night. THAT was cool.

Chris Osgood

Minnetonka High School, Minnetonka, MN, Class of ‘72, Currently: I play guitar and sing in a Punk Rock Band called The Suicide Commandos. We formed in 1975. I am the Vice President of Community Relations at McNally Smith College of Music, St.Paul, MN and I am the Executive Director of the McNally Smith College of Music Foundation. I also import wine from France. I work with seven producers in SW France.

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Delaney & Bonnie, any song

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: Rod Stewart’s Spinada wine bottle (I still have it somewhere!)

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Black Sabbath

Best show or concert you saw in high school: A tie: The Faces and The Grease Band, The Rolling Stones and Steve Wonder. (I saw The Doors and The Bonzo Dog Band in Junior High, so they don’t count!)

I had a band in High School w/my girlfriend Carol Flaig (along w/future Commando Dave Ahl and bassist Henry Neils). “Sue Veneer and the Mementos”. We played all over MN and WI every weekend and did a lot of Delaney and Bonnie songs because of the double male-female vocals. My Peter Case-like “sneak-out” story is actually a “sneak-in” story- We’d go down to the West Bank on Tuesday nights for Dime Beer Night at the Triangle Bar and listen to Roy Alstead and the Mill City Band, which is why I play guitar the funny way I do! My buddy X-Boy lead singer Casey Macpherson actually snuck out of his bedroom and clambered down the side of his house to see The Rolling Stones at Excelsior Amusement Park ca. 1965. He could hear them playing from his bedroom!

Optional bonus question: Best high school make-out song: We found all music very romantic in high school! Mwaaah!

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