It's a sad day for the punk community. Tomorrow, the Triple Rock in Minneapolis will close for good. At least it's going out with a bang- the mighty Dillinger Four are playing the club's final show! We'll be covering that, but before then, staffer Alex Meylink wrote a piece on what the Triple Rock means to him. He also reached out to a bunch of musicians and other assorted punkers for their take on the club. Check out Alex's piece below.
The Triple Rock: A Premature Eulogy
As Dillinger Four are set to tear the roof off the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota for one last time, the punk world prepares to say goodbye to one of the most legendary and beloved venues in the United States.
Let’s get this out of the way: I’m not from the Twin Cities, so I really shouldn’t be writing this. The Triple Rock has been an internationally known punk rock institution since its inception in 1998, but it’s always seemed that it truly belonged to the Twin Cities scene. In the same way that 924 Gilman was THE Bay Area punk venue, The Triple Rock embodied the soul of Minneapolis and St. Paul punk. Additionally, the Twin Cities is something of an island in terms of Midwestern metropolises, which only amplifies this fervent local pride. My friends in Minneapolis have to drive hours to any other city, so there’s a fierce devotion to the local scene and a “let’s build it ourselves” attitude not found often on the coasts.
I’m a Milwaukeean, so writing a farewell for the venue feels a bit like a weird neighbor giving the eulogy for your dad. But just like so many people from around the world, The Triple Rock wormed its way into my heart over the years. It became the image my mental dictionary would project for “ideal venue”. I first made the 5-hour trek from southeastern Wisconsin to Minneapolis when I was in my teens. I wandered into the venue with a few awe-struck buddies; we left our backpacks, sleeping bags, and pillows (no shit) by the bouncer and lost our minds to a feverish, sweaty Lawrence Arms set. That trip was to be the first of many, and I’ve since seen many of my favorite bands in what I’ve come to believe is the perfectly sized room. The punk world is going to miss the Triple Rock. There aren’t many venues that bring such consistently good bills to a city as small as Minneapolis. There certainly aren’t many venues that have food as delicious as a Triple Rock po’boy.
But as this is a premature funeral, I’d be remiss if I didn’t allow a few others to provide their parting words. I’d like to invite any punks up to the pulpit to come up and say their last goodbyes:
“I’ve worked at Triple Rock for the past five years and I can say it’s without a doubt the best job I’ve ever had. I think of my co-workers and the bar regulars as family. It’s like a punk version of Cheers. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name…”
Tane Graves, Drones + Triple Rock Social Club
"Triple Rock was awesome. The ceiling kinda looked like the ceiling of a Chipotle, but it was a way cooler place than Chipotle. Will be missed."
- Brendan Kelly, The Lawrence Arms/ The Falcon
“There will never be another Triple Rock, just like there will never be another CBGBs. They are as iconic in Minneapolis history as First Ave or the CC Club, but there was always something more personal with the T- Rock. That might be for the fact that its bar covers half the show room floor, or how you could always meet your heroes around back while they were loading in the van. We have had the honor of playing there several times over the years and there has always been a vibe there that inspires you to play your living heart out. Last but not least, D4. I just want to know how I'm going to get a beer from Billy now?”
- Chris Watson, Atomic Lights
“The Triple Rock has always felt like what it would be like if the punks were running things. That place held a large piece of the soul of Minneapolis punk rock for the last two decades and I guess it's time to pass the torch. We were insanely fortunate to have such an ideal place to play. To quote Billy Morrisette, "The Triple Rock is dead. Long Live the Triple Rock!”
- Andy Mathison, Class of ‘86
“We were lucky enough to play the Triple Rock 5 or 6 times. Each time was an absolute delight. The drunkest I have ever been in my life was on that stage. Being asked by D4 to play with them at the Triple Rock was an honor that is in the ranks with my wedding day and the birth of my children… Nope, it was way better than both of those things.”
- Kris, The Brokedowns
“For all the great music that comes outta Minneapolis, it's actually hard to book a date in that town and have good shows, so obviously this was shitty news to hear. But as someone who had to work with Triple Rock on a "professional" level, I think what I will miss most is their kickass staff of rock 'n' rollers. (Hail Zartan!) I dunno if that came from the top-down or if Minneapolis is just so full of cool folks, but for a buncha drunks and crusties, they ran that club like industry pros. And I know everyone's first reaction is to lament the loss of a great venue, but shit happens and things change, so now it's up to some other gals and guys to pick up the slack and do their own cool thing. The Triple Rock gang did their part and did it well, now who's up next?!”
-Tobias Jeg, Red Scare
“The Triple Rock was one of those places I always heard of in my youth, but never thought I'd actually get there. It didn't seem real to me. I heard about it in the liner notes of Dillinger Four records and, of course, in everyone's favorite NOFX song, but it seemed almost mythical. When I first was able to attend there to see Fireworks and The Swellers in 2010, the place immediately felt comfortable and like home. Being a punk or outsider there felt amazing. As a non-drinker, it's one of the only bars I've ever been to that doesn't make me uneasy. It had the world's greatest food (with a million vegan and vegetarian options) and the world's coolest jukebox including a custom mix CD made by Craig Finn on it. It was like a museum of things I thought were cool. Getting to play there with a few of the bands I've been in was a dream come true. A world without it will not feel quite right. RIP.”
- Jack Sibilski, Telethon / Shot Memory
Do you have any fond memories of the Triple Rock? Any parting words? Please share in the comment sections below! https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=9d9D_W1PbQc