TC Mayors: May 5 to be 'Suicide Commandos Day'

Suicide Commandos Photo: Lisa Nebenzahl and Michael Fisher
Suicide Commandos

May 04, 2017 04:30 PM

The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul plan to proclaim May 5 “Suicide Commandos Day” in honor of the Twin Cities punk rock trio that rose to prominence in the late 1970s.

The proclamation comes at the same time the group releases its first album in 39 years on Twin/Tone Records. The label bills the new release, called “Time Bomb,” as “The Ramones meet Eddie Cochran meets ZZ Top – but adds a catchy, pop-ish slant and a modern production flare that brings a freshness to the entire proceedings.”


The label, which hasn’t released a record since The Suburb’s “Viva! Suburbs!” In 1994, jabs that it was “forced back into existence” by the album.

A press conference will be held Saturday at Boom Island announcing the proclamations. The band will be on hand taking questions and updating fans on the summer schedule. It also plans to announce a Sunday event at which the three members, Steve Almass, Dave Ahl and Chris Osgood, will be flipping free pancakes.

The Minneapolis proclamation -- which reads similarly to that of St. Paul’s, according to a news release -- is below:

WHEREAS The Suicide Commandos formed in 1975 and began to play a new kind of music that would eventually spawn a Minnesota Music Scene that produced The Suburbs, The Replacements, Husker Du, Soul Asylum, Babes in Toyland and many other MN bands; and

WHEREAS The Suicide Commandos carved a path where there was none before.  They created a national touring circuit out of whole cloth that many Twin Cities bands followed and created national followings; and

WHEREAS The Suicide Commandos helped shape a rock ‘n roll renaissance by peeling back to the basics with a sense of humor and rock history, alongside bands like The Ramones in New York City and the Sex Pistols in London; and

WHEREAS The Suicide Commandos helped propel the commercial viability of new, independent labels by taking risks on non-major labels and meeting a hunger in the market for a new rock spirit among fans and music entrepreneurs alike, thus creating a market for labels such as Minnesota’s influential Twin/Tone Records and others to follow; and

WHEREAS The Commandos, as they were known fondly by fans and media alike, indulged in consistently producing entertaining nights out in the now-legendary Longhorn Bar in Minneapolis and Kelly’s Pub in St. Paul, as well as CBGB in New York City, The Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, etc; and

WHEREAS This loud, fast trio was among the earliest subjects of pioneering rock video filmmaker Chuck Statler (Devo, Elvis Costello, et al.) with its song “Burn It Down,” where they played in front of their notorious headquarters, Utopia House, as it burned down in 1977; and

WHEREAS Drummer Dave Ahl, bassist Steve Almaas and guitarist Chris Osgood have continued to contribute to music culture through their professional careers by teaching (Almaas), building state-of-the-art recording studios (Ahl) and working with musicians and artists at Springboard for the Arts and students and McNally Smith College of Music (Osgood); and

WHEREAS The Suicide Commandos continue to ROCK live shows and events “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People” 40 years after their initial reign!; and

WHEREAS The legendary Minnesota label Twin/Tone Records has come back to life to release its first new album in 23 years with The Suicide Commandos first studio album in 39 years, Time Bomb, which releases worldwide today; and 

WHEREAS The Minnesota Historical Society is simultaneously releasing Cyn Collins’ “Complicated Fun- The Birth of Minneapolis Punk and Indie Rock 1974-1984” which borrows the Commandos' song title from Twin/Tone’s “Big Hits of Mid-America Vol. III."

Therefore I, Betsy Hodges, Mayor of the great City of Minneapolis do hereby declare Friday, May 5th, 2017 to be a day of extreme pride in Minnesota, and I encourage our citizens to join me in recognizing the achievements of The Suicide Commandos, Minnesota’s Music Scene and our cultural contributions to the world.


Michael Oakes

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