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Book Excerpts

From the introduction . . .

The Triangle Bar began hosting live music in 1964 and kept going strong through the late 1960s. It was likely the first bar in Minneapolis to host live acts that weren’t top-40 cover bands. Tony Glover recalls Maury Bernstein as the first musician who performed there, playing his accordion in the corner, but Glover claims that John Koerner was the first paid musician the Triangle hired. “There were people there such as Spider John Koerner, Papa John Kolstad, Dave Ray, Willie Murphy, even John Koerner’s brother Pete,” recalls Bill Hinkley. “They’d each do one hour, $10 sets.”

Murphy’s band, the Bees, soon became a staple at the Triangle. Many veteran West Bank music fans fondly recall the Bees doing choreographed high kicks and swinging their horns, all while walking along the top of the bar.

“Music was the scene,” says Mary Lundberg, who once shared her homegrown with Bob Dylan under an olive tree behind the 400 Bar. ”[The Triangle] was the cool place to go; they had the best music. I went to art school—some art students played guitar at the Triangle.”

Others played pool. Photographer Ramon Muxter (whose photos are featured in this book) recalls going to the Triangle regularly with one buck early in the afternoon, and playing into the evening with his winnings. He even claims to have won a car from one of his opponents, though he never collected on the bet.

Everyone was an equal at the Triangle, some more equal than others. Mary Berg, a Triangle waitress, recalls one night while working there in 1965: “I was drinking Pernot. Tony Glover was sitting on the stage and he asked me, ‘What are you, a waitress, doing drinking a Pernot, while I, the talent, am drinking a tapped beer?’ I replied, ‘Because I, the waitress, asked for a Pernot. You, the talent, must have asked for a tapped beer.’”