TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — The Detroit Lakes Pavilion

As lake weather approaches, it’s a little sad to learn that city leaders continue to have problems with the Detroit Lakes (Minn.) Pavilion. The Pavilion is old, more than a hundred years old. With age, come problems, not the least of which has been continuing drainage issues for the building, which in 1915 was set just a little too close to the lake.

According to DL-Online, plans have been drawn for a new four-seasons building that would include better bathrooms, parking, even classrooms. But that would mean the original building would come down.

As a teenager, the Detroit Lakes Pavilion was part of an excellent weekend trifecta for many of us in our part of North Dakota and Minnesota. If you had a car, gas money and your parents would let you — in some cases , even if they wouldn’t — you could hit the L.R.C, the Legion Recreation Center in Halstad, Minn., on Friday nights, Herb Johnson’s Barn near Arthur, N.D., on Saturdays and the DL Pavilion on Sunday nights. Occasionally, for variety, there was the Maple Lake Pavilion near Mentor, Minn.

The DL Pavilion hosted acts, both local and national, like The Fabulous Flippers from Lawrence, Kan., and The Cornerstones and The Churchkeys from Grand Forks. Jerry Lee Lewis also performed there, I believe. The local Unbelievable Uglies were practically the house band. I remember hearing Chicago’s Buckinghams, fresh off a pot bust, or so we heard. Bobby Vee was a regular, especially on Fourth of July weekends. The owner of a cottage across the lake, Bobby didn’t have far to go to work.

Just across Washington Street was another, much smaller music venue, the Green Door. It appealed to a slightly older, perhaps more “sophisticated” crowd. When I was very young, it featured live jazz. If you were underage it was tough to get into. They served alcohol. They also carded, but not always all that carefully. That is to say phony IDs were much more easily replicated then. The original Green Door is long gone, although another bar in another lakeshore location carries the name today.

Nothing has been set in stone by the city and everything takes money, but a public hearing on the Pavilion’s future will be held May 22.

In many ways I hate to see old buildings like the DL Pavilion go. Like many other people, I have a history with them.

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — When Are You Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll?

I turned 60 in December, a season in life when, for hobbies, a more sensible person might have turned to watercolors or growing orchids. I have turned to Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Credence, Pink Floyd and REO Speedwagon. I’m not talking about the oldies station on the radio, or air guitar when no one is looking or belting old rock anthems in the shower.

Instead, every week, I haul my electric and acoustic guitars to a practice room at the School of Rock in Fort Worth, Texas, and begin blasting away.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one suffering from this post-post,-post-midlife crisis. Dr. David Donahue, age sixtysomething, is an internationally known pediatric neurosurgeon by day, our drummer by night. Dave is typically late for rehearsals, showing up each week in a stretch limo and with full entourage. Drummers, I guess, are that way.

On keyboard and vocals is Gary Kelly, also aged sixtysomething. Gary is an old friend and veteran of some of our area’s top classic rock bands. He is totally slumming with us, but Gary shows up week after week mostly because we encourage him to channel his inner Mick Jagger.

Joaquin Reyna is 21, our ringer, the music director of the School of Rock who is a guitar savant with a very, very old musical soul. He seems greatly amused by guys who, for whatever reason, refuse to grow up.

On those gloriously loud evenings at the School of Rock, we barrel through the music of our youth. As of now, we go by the name, Loved Starved Dogs, which was suggested by my wife and daughter, and inspired by our codependent puppy, Scuba. Other possible names — Grateful We’re Not Dead; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Not Young; and the Boobie Brothers  — were considered and rejected. As I speak, Gary is composing our own original rock anthem titled … wait for it … Love Starved Dogs.

You cringe. I mean, AC/DC, is on our set list, for crying out loud. Consider the lyrics to “You Shook Me All Night Long,” which I attempt to screech.

She had the sightless eyes, 

Telling me no lies,

Knocking me out with those American thighs.

American thighs? Really?

Yet I do not apologize. Over the decades, I’ve tried to be a loving and responsible husband and father, a friend. I’ve worked hard to tame my many demons. Now, with a dwindling fraction of my life yet to live, perhaps I’m entitled to care less and less about what other people might think. It occurs to me that each week at the School of Rock I’m inoculating myself against regrets later, when I am indeed too old to hold a guitar. I’m living out loud, and I mean loud. I haven’t had this much fun since I quit coaching ice hockey.

I also spend many hours each week practicing guitar, and I am trying to teach myself to sing. Our band will perform some day, coming to an arena, backyard or garage near you, but none of us want the Love Starved Dogs to be a shameless novelty act.

“Isn’t that cute — these old guys up there on stage, making fools of themselves.”

Instead, eventually, we want to be just good enough that when people hear our music they can almost forget who is playing it, can just enjoy the great old tunes, sing along, dance and, to steal a phrase from Billy Joel, “forget about life for a while.”

Of course, this could all end in abysmal, embarrassing failure. Then again, I’ve suffered abysmal, embarrassing failures before, and evidently they are not fatal. I’m still here.

Let me suggest a greater failure — ignoring a passion and stifling a joy because a guy my age should be dabbing at water colors, thinking he is too old to learn to rock.

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings by Barbara La Valleur — Rise Up!: Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus’ Call To Action

For over 37 years, the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus has built a large following, this past year attracting over 12,000 fans, to its concerts. Attendees have come to expect “adventuresome programming” (as their playbill promises) from this award-winning group of 150 singers.

The spring concert was no exception as evidenced by rousing standing ovations. No one left disappointed Saturday night accompanied with a call of 12 Action Steps — Rise Up! in the program.

Jane Ramseyer Miller, artistic director of One Voice Mixed Chorus, designed and directed RISE UP, due to the departure of the previous artistic director, Ben Riggs a few months ago.

This was the first TCGMC concert I’ve attended. OMG! I had no idea what I was missing. Until Saturday night, that is. Luckily for us, my husband’s daughter, Maureen, who sings in the Twin Cities Women’s Choir, invited us since her choir also participated in this concert.

For starters, I found it surprising that the men walking on stage of the Ted Mann Theater on the University of Minnesota campus wearing a rainbow of solid-colored shirts, were of such varying ages from their 20s to 70s.

The first song was An Exhortation based on the lyrics from President Barack Obama’s victory speech of Nov. 4, 2008. That was a clue we were in for a real treat!

The TCWC opened — almost by surprise — singing from the third-floor balcony overlooking the full audience. TCWC also joined the men’s choir on stage for one of the final numbers wearing multicolored pussyhats — in solidarity with women’s rights — as they came together to sing “We Rise Again.}

(Caveat: I had a good laugh during intermission, when I observed the line for the men’s room was four times that of the women’s room! That is a first in my 72 years!)

The Lux String Quartet also joined the choirs for several selections throughout the evening. I found it interesting during the second half of the evening before the quartet played its one solo piece, “Summerland,” that the TCGMC, now all dressed in black, turned their backs in silence so the focus was on the quartet. Very effective!

It was even more noticeable and garnered a few chuckles when the men turned around to face the audience sporting solid-colored ties aptly in a rainbow of colors contrasting their black attire, for their next song, “1,000 Grandmothers.”

Without question, the highlight of the evening was a seven-part world premier of “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed,” written by Atlanta composer Joel Thompson and directed by Steve Milloy, guest conductor from Ohio. The piece features the last words of seven unarmed African-American men. All were killed by authority figures.

As Christians around the world mark Holy Week plus the current volatile political, social and gun rights situation, Thompson’s timely piece aligns closely with the classical structure of Joseph Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross.”

Thompson is quoted in the program, “I wanted to process my personal feelings about being a black man in this very racially tense time … and also figure out a universal way to remember the men who had lost their lives too soon.”

As the piano struck slow, low chords and the violins played high, piercing notes, the choir sang, chanted and sometimes shouted the last words repeating them over and over and over and over as each man’s photograph, name and age was displayed on an overhead screen, one after the other.

  • Kenneth Chamberlain, 66: “Officer, why do you have your guns out?!”
  • Travon Martin, 16: “What are you following me for?!”
  • Amadou Diallo, 23: I’m going to college!
  • Michael Brown, 18: “I don’t have a gun! STOP SHOOTING! STOP! STOP! STOP!”
  • Oscar Grant, 22: “He shot me! He shot me! He shot me!”
  • John Crawford, 22: “It’s not real … Ohhhh … ahhhh!!!!”
  • Eric Garner, 43: “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Can’t breathe!”

It was the most powerful and moving performance I’ve ever seen. I look forward to the TCGMC’s next concert.

The music of Freddie Mercury and Queen will be featured in the choir’s annual Pride concert June 15 and 16 at Ted Mann Concert Hall. (tickets.umn.edu)

12 Action Steps – Rise Up!

  1. Listen to people of color.
  2. Speak out against gun violence.
  3. Support Clean Water Action Minnesota.
  4. Read books by immigrant authors and people of color.
  5. Listen to and support victims of sexual assault and harassment.
  6. Attend a Justice Choir  www.justicechoir.org.
  7. Support immigrant owned businesses, events and festivals.
  8. Join Women’s March Minnesota  www.womensmarchmn.com.
  9. Contribute to the Philando Castile School Lunch Fund.
  10. Demand rights for transgender and gender non-conforming students www.glsen.org/students/trs.
  11. Talk to friends, family and colleagues about race and white privilege issues.
  12. Join the ACLU in urging ICE to abandon plans to significantly expand immigrant detention centers. www.aclu/org/action.

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Lucinda Rocks My World

My close friends and husband know that the musician Lucinda Williams rocks my world. Has since I first listened to her decades ago.

I have all of her recordings, and I’m currently listening to “Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone” in my car.

She is the daughter of the late poet Miller Williams and a fierce songwriter. I’ve been fortunate enough to see her in concert three times, once with my three best friends on an epic trip to Boulder, Colo,, for my 50th birthday. Lucinda is in my age bracket and I find her work authentic and inspiring.

My friend, Watson, will rub in that. When he was attending college, Miller Williams gave a campus reading. I’m completely envious.

My husband loves the music of Neil Young (actually, so do I) and has dozens of his recordings, so our shelf with the “Ys” and the “Ws” is pretty darned full.

Here is a good video of Lucinda performing “Compassion” and another of “Cold Day in Hell.”

When life is throwing me curve balls, I often pull out Lucinda’s CDs and fortify myself. If I had to choose my favorite song of hers, it’d be “West,” probably because I’m so deeply a westerner.

When she performed in Bismarck at the Belle, I requested the song via her social media. It wasn’t on her set list from previous concerts, but Eureka, she sang it! Bonus was that I got to take my daughter to that concert so she could see for herself why her mama reveres Lucinda.

Keep up the good work, lady.

MICHAEL BOGERT: Photo Gallery — Blues On The Red

Grand Forks photographer Michael Bogert took in Happy Harry’s Blues on the Red on Saturday in downtown Grand Forks. Check out his crowd photos as well as the those of the entertainers — Mud from the Twin Cities and Laura Rain and the Caesars from Detroit.

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — Blues On The Red

Grand Forks photographer Russ Hons took in Happy Harry’s Blues on the Red on Saturday in downtown Grand Forks. The opening act was Squishy Mud from the Twin Cities, followed by headliner Laura Rain and the Caesars from Detroit.

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air

Gentle reader, you might recall that we just attended the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons, Colo., with some of our best chums. It was a fabulous sojourn, filled with the anticipation of the total solar eclipse.

By and large, these festivals, particularly the ones hosted by Planet Bluegrass, are filled with blissful vibes and fascinating diversity — oh, and fabulous music. Just the people-watching alone can keep one distracted from the cares of the world. This was time spent with five of the best friends for whom a woman could hope.

As we drove, we listened to the music that was on the festival billing.

Upon arrival, our party enjoyed a brief tour of the charming town of Lyons, in the foothills of the Rockies, followed by pizza and beer and lots of laughs.

It is very difficult to adequately capture the natural and humanmade beauty of Lyons, filled with buildings built out of the local red stone, accompanied by peaceful public spaces and interesting sculptures, but here are a few snapshots.

Our favorite was the adorable bear family that greeted us to the festival grounds. Wristbands on, we were all set for day one of three days of great music!

But first, three of us drove back up from our lodgings in Longmont. Colo., in order to stand in the line for numbers for the tarp run. I scored what seemed to me to be a high number, 123, and it turned out to be the best number we got in the subsequent nights.

The next morning, Jeff and Ken secured a great location for us, and we settled in for some tunes.

The Colorado sun grew hot, and we wandered around the grounds to buy beverages, food and merchandise. Everyone filtered down to the river now and then for some shade and cold, freshing mountain water. The festival also includes lots of activities for children, interesting art and huge bonus, REAL BATHROOMS! The festival grounds are on the location of an old farm, the remnant silo bearing silent witness to this history.

Festival fashion is very western U.S. outdoor wear, with tons of interesting T-shirts and a wide array of hats to shield festivarians from the bright Colorado sun. I noted that there is very little of the outlandish costuming that we see at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and somewhat less diversity in the crowd. However, the musical acts were diverse. Planet Bluegrass has its act together.

These flags bear the names of each of the 14K-plus Colorado mountain peaks. Longmont Peak is the closest.

While we lounged on our tarps, two ravens flew by over the canyon walls of the St. Vrain River.

It was mesmerizing to watch this guy quietly build these stone cairns in the river and then to watch the tubers dodge it as they careened by. There were many frolicking folks of all ages.

Mary Gauthier was a late-entry performer in the Wildflower Pavilion, there for the weeklong song school. She was very passionate, and with her we all sang “This Land is Your Land.”

We took turns decorating our personal tarp and slice of heaven for these three days. The weather was hot, and we were mostly off-the-grid. The chill festival vibe populated by extremely polite people added to the joy. I ate my fill of Asian dumplings each night for supper from a Boulder, Colo.-based food booth.

The performance I most anticipated was Rhiannon Giddens, a favorite of mine. She was a showstopper, and on the first night, everything I had hoped for and more.  I can say with all confidence that there were conversion emotions throughout this musical experience. She sang songs of justice and love, with passion and grace, and told meaningful, heartfelt stories in her intros. Here is just one video of her singing one of her many songs I love. Give her a listen and watch for her to win some awards for her album “Freedom Highway“.

What lucky and happy children I witnessed here and there.

Climbing is a favorite activity in this area, and they start ’em young.

Jim and I enjoyed the black raspberry dark chocolate chip ice cream each day.

Festival camping is not for us, but it was sure fun to look at the creative camps. Leave No Trace holds a contest in their booth for sustainable festivation camping and these folks are CLEVER.

I used some of my tarp time to catch up on my reading, including the eclipse book, and my husband enjoyed The Denver Post. We were relieved when the sun began to set behind the huge cottonwood trees in the tarp area, shade that everyone has been hugging all day. I heard a flock of cedar waxwings in the trees bordering the grounds.

When the sun disappeared, everyone got out their fleece jackets.

On the last night, Rachel Price’s voice, anchoring Lake Street Diver, soared through the canyon.

The festival was closed late Sunday night by the talented Dave Rawlings Machine. Rawlings and Gillian Welch met all of my expectations and were a very close second for my favorite performance. Their new album, “Poor David’s Almanack” is most excellent! The set was wickedly good and included my personal favorite “Short-Haired Woman Blues.”

Our route home included another night at the historic Franklin Hotel in Deadwood, S.D., built in 1903 (Theodore Roosevelt slept here) and a drive filled with talk of attending another festival in upcoming years, listening to new musical discoveries like Elephant Revival.

If you’ve never checked out the groovy vibes of roots music, AKA, Americana, I urge you to do so pronto. Find your bliss!

MICHAEL BOGERT: Photo Gallery — Summertime Scenes

Grand Forks photographer Michael Bogert gets around. Enjoy these shots from the latest Blues on the Red and North Dakota Museum of Arts concerts and bird antics in Minnesota lake country, among others.

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Glen Campbell

After a long struggle with Alzheimers disease, Glen Campbell died this week at the age of 81.

Of all the celebrity interviews I’ve done, the two I did with Glen Campbell are among my very favorite. For openers, it’s always as surprise that a star of his caliber was willing to talk with little, old me.

For some reason, the first interview we did with him took place fairly early in the morning in advance of a show that night in Chester Fritz Auditorium in Grand Forks. Perhaps he wanted to hit the golf course, I don’t know.

After the interview, he invited us to have breakfast with him at the Holiday Inn coffee shop. I headed for a table in the middle of the room. But he said, “Let’s sit over here.” A table in the corner where he sat with his back to the room. I remember thinking that’s what fame is. Avoiding too much attention.

Having breakfast with Glen Campbell is not the worst way to start a day. He was especially proud of the lineup of his show that night, which included John Hartford, who wrote one of his biggest hits “Gentle on My Mind.” Also now gone. And Jim “Spiders & Snakes” Stafford,  another fine entertainer, very much alive in Branson, Mo.

The show was incredible. Did Glen Campbell ever do a bad one?

A couple of weeks later when tour was over, I got a handwritten note thanking me for the interview. Pure class.

Years later, I talked with him live on television when he was appearing at the Spirit Lake Casino near Devils Lake.

MTV had just aired a “warts and all” Behind the Music documentary. The warts included his drug abuse and the very public spectacle that could only be described as his tramping around the country with Tanya Tucker. I had no choice but to ask him what it was like to have that sort of dirty laundry aired so publicly. Now clean and sober for many years, his nearly perfect answer, “I know what I did. It’s between me and my God.” Next question.

I will always admire Glen Campbell’s openness and honesty. His talent and showmanship speaks for itself. A wonderful voice. A tremendous guitarist. A truly great entertainer.

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — A Medora Weekend

A visit to Medora, N.D., can be memorable. Grand Forks photographer Russ Hons was there this past weekend, taking in the Medora Musical, a Tigirlily concert and the awesome sights of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Here are just a few of the images that caught his eye. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)