Remembering Local Music Legend Terry Katzman
Celebrating the life of a man who lived LOUD!
Terry Katzman sold me one of my first punk rock records. It was The Dead Boys' Young Loud and Snotty LP, which I found in the used bin at Oar Folkjokeopus, the legendary Minneapolis record store where Terry worked. I asked him if it was any good, and he gave me a quick thumbs up and nodded vigorously, "Oh yeah that's… You gotta have that."
The outpouring of emotion on social media following Terry's death highlights the impact he had on us. Terry loved many types of music, but for those of us that knew him, we know he liked his music loud and fast. He may not have ever called himself a punk rocker, but he loved his punk rock - and Terry would do everything he could to embrace, nurture and share the music he loved.
In the spirit of a guy like Terry Katzman, let's play it loud and fast! Let's get excited by all the passion and love he had for music and culture.
Record Store Clerk
Peter Jesperson, manager of Oar Folk at the time, remembers, "I went up there [Third Stone Music] one day and told them in no uncertain terms that Terry belonged at Oar Folk and that we were hiring him away - which we did. Terry was born to work in a record store and, with all due respect, I thought his musical knowledge and enthusiasm fit better at our place than at Third Stone. Terry worked at Oar Folk until the fire in 1985."
Notorious in rock n' roll culture, "the record store guy (TRSG)" is an icon that borders on cliche. After all, TRSG turns young people onto cool music. Terry started working at retail record stores in 1970, and by the time I met him 10 years later, he was definitely that record store guy. He was that for many others in the Twin Cities - and for those that he influenced, we found out that he was also so much more. You see, Terry left the record store at night and collaborated with others to build what we think of as the Minnesota music scene.
One thing that is certain: Terry belonged. He found a family at Oar Folkjokeopus; he found family at the Longhorn bar, at First Avenue, Reflex Records, Goofy's Upper Deck, Garage D'or, Hi Fi Records, the list goes on and on.
Terry loved Hüsker Dü, and I don't think it's an overstatement to say that he devoted his life to them and did everything from hauling gear to doing sound, running the office, as well as thousands of other menial tasks. He helped preserve the band's legacy, despite their own obstructions. Terry kept every board tape of every Hüsker Dü show he engineered - he had more than 70 shows archived - and his collection was instrumental in the recently released Hüsker Dü: Savage Young Dü box set.
The amazing thing is that Terry didn't just do this for the Hüskers; all in all, he must have worked with hundreds of bands throughout his life. Recently, he worked with and publicly raved about the local bands Color TV, Lolos Ghost and Cervesa Muscular. Back in the 1980s, Terry worked with numerous local groups, including the band Rifle Sport. Gerard Boissy, guitarist for the band remembers, "Terry really dug Rifle Sport from day one. He encouraged us, did our sound, worked on our first ever studio recording at Children's Theater with Bob Mould... He was the biggest best and most honest music fan-mentor-historian-producer-sound guy ever."
Terry was also an avid historian, archivist and collector. The first time I saw his apartment at the Modesto on 26 and Garfield, I was stunned by all the records. "Vinyl museum with a bed" is how fellow Oar Folk employee Mitch Griffin put it. I had heard that he kept diaries of his life and musical experiences, and I asked him if he would read a section on camera.
Coincidentally, a few weeks ago, I was looking for any type of recording from the obscure Colorado band Johnny iii, for a project. I emailed Terry:
Me: Did you ever do a recording of Johnny iii... Or have any kind of tape of what they sounded like?
Terry: Yes, I have a couple of shows archived.
Terry (one minute later): They were great 60's pop, but originals and sort of a surf influence...
Terry (30 seconds after that): They were from Littleton, Colorado...
When I interviewed Terry at his home, I hadn't seen him for a while. After Oar Folk closed, Terry opened his own store, Garage D'or, which lasted runs on 26th and Nicollet, and then at Lake and Lyndale. I knew Terry got a straight job at Wells Fargo later on, which I assumed happened when records and record stores went bad in the late nineties. During that time, Terry and his wife raised a family. But eventually he went back to the record store game, working at Hi Fi Records near Loring Park. I could tell Terry was happy.
Special Thanks: Gerard Boissy, Ron Clark, Mitch Griffin, Nathan Reopelle, Tim Schuck and Peter Jesperson