Complicated Fun: The Birth of Minneapolis Punk and Indie Rock, 1974-1984 --- An Oral History


Product Details

$19.95  $18.35
Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 1.0 X 8.9 inches | 1.2 pounds
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About the Author

Cyn Collins is host of KFAI radio's "Spin with Cyn" and author of West Bank Boogie: 40 Years of Music, Mayhem and Memories. She has contributed arts and culture articles to the Star Tribune, City Pages, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and others. Collins lives in Minneapolis.


Advance Praise: "Complicated Fun is a great rock book that works the same way as a great rock song. Find the right voices, lead with a riff, spit some truth, then watch everything explode. The result? Punk messing with punk, and birthing indie rock." Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings
"Cyn Collins's indispensable and incredibly entertaining history puts the reader inside the record store, at the club, and in the practice space with the music geeks who brought one of America's greatest music scenes to life. The only thing this book is missing is the music--you've gotta buy that separately." Mark Baumgarten, author of Love Rock Revolution: K Records and the Rise of Independent Music
"In 1984, Minnesota music owned the world. While it may seem like it exploded out of nowhere, such a vibrant scene doesn't happen overnight. Complicated Fun tells the story of the pioneers, misfits, punks, and musical mavericks who paved the way for what became the most original and exciting music scene of that era. Cyn Collins does a fantastic job coaxing the stories from the people who lived it. This is a tale that needed to be told about bands that need to be heard." Kevin Cole, KEXP-FM radio in Seattle, former DJ at First Avenue/7th Street Entry
"A comprehensive, intensively reported tribute to a creative scene that is too often overlooked by rock historians, written by someone who cares deeply about the music and the people making it." Melissa Maerz, music writer and senior producer for VICE News Tonight
"Occasionally, genius flows from geographically isolated communities. The Minneapolis music scene in the early '80s is an excellent model and shows how the passions of an inspired community can lead to broad cultural influence. Complicated Fun faithfully examines this story through detailed commentary from many of the scenesters and artists that made Minneapolis happen. This is a must read for fans of punk/indie culture." Bruce Pavitt, author of Sub Pop USA and Experiencing Nirvana
"'You had to be there.' Well, no, you didn't! Laden with earnest, firsthand anecdotes of a window in time when the Minnesota punk and indie music scene created itself, Cyn Collins's book is fun to read and perhaps instructive for anyone who wants to change the world themselves." Chris Osgood, singer/songwriter/guitarist for the Suicide Commandos
"Cyn Collins's oral history of Twin Cities punk and indie rock depicts the iconic events and people with the cheerful one-upmanship of tales told around the campfire. More remarkably, it also uncovers the parts played by lesser knowns, like the Commandos' explosives expert Linda Hultquist, the after-show party host Jody Kurilla, and the barely recorded but essential NNB. Best of all, Complicated Fun shows how a vital and nurturing network erupted from a few dedicated music lovers, illuminating how hungry people were (are) to create--not just music, but community. So, what are you waiting for?" Terri Sutton, freelance writer and former City Pages arts editor
"To this day, the so-called counterculture has always been my family--the punk movement is more infiltrated with rogue intellectuals, as opposed to derelicts, than people think. Say what you will, but they're smart people, and they're great mentors--my mentors." Dave Pirner, singer/songwriter/guitarist for Soul Asylum
"In Complicated Fun, you can almost hear the voices of the players from the fertile late '70s/early '80s Minneapolis music scene. Memory is a strange beast, but the wide scope of interviewees ensures that this is a fair summary and a damn good documentation of the era." Peter Jesperson, music industry professional and cofounder of Twin/Tone Records
"Cyn Collins has diligently collected prodigious stories from the memories of musicians and fans who experienced the greatest moments of Twin Cities music history." Lori Barbero, drummer/singer/songwriter for Babes in Toyland