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Throwback Thursdays – Photos from Goofy’s Upper Deck

Crowd at Goofy's Upper Deck Husker Du, Bob Mould Slam Dancing

In the early 1980s I had a photo studio on Glenwood Ave in downtown Minneapolis. My studio was situated halfway between First Avenue (the street and night club) and the Punk Rock night club Goofy’s Upper Deck (2nd floor above the Market BBQ). Being so close to Goofy’s and the Market BBQ I went to a lot of shows and ate a lot of BBQ.

I never considered myself a rock band photographer. Never the less, I frequently brought my camera  to shows at Goofy’s. I enjoyed photographing the attending crowd more than shooting the band. Most of the time I had no idea who was in front of my camera. It’s all kind of fuzzy. And shooting slam dancing was a real combat situation sometimes! I wouldn’t know who I got until I developed the film.

Follow up with people I photographed was dicey. No social media or websites meant getting images to people depended on if I ever saw them again. Sometimes people would block the camera with their hand, so I would not take their photo. I respected that gesture. I did not need that kind of problem. Most of the time people I pointed my camera at during these shows were happy to be photographed.

These images are from a Husker Du show … I don’t know what year. It must have been before or after 1983. Again, it’s all kind of fuzzy. And, of course, no meta data on film.

I have more from Goofy’s and other clubs. I plan to post them in the future.

If anyone recognizes who is in any photos I post, feel free to let me know who they are.

Portrait of Sonya


I met Sonya when she was a young dancer at Minnesota Dance Theater.

Sonya is one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, inside and out. She has a very free spirit and is very challenging at the same time. I was happy for her when she moved to L.A. but bittersweet about the end of our artist/model relationship.

We began our artist/model relationship in the waning days of film photography. Money was a little tight for me at that time and restricted how much we could shoot together. This was our first digital photo shoot. The experience was not much different from shooting film. However I felt freer to shoot as long as I felt was needed – no restrictions on counting rolls of film. I still lit my set as if I were shooting film using a hand held meter.

This image has the essential look from Sonya that inspires me so much. It’s restful, pensive and piercing all at the same time. She really knew how to deliver to me on set. A rare thing to find that in a subject. That is why she is one of my favorites.

I am Not a Street Shooter.

Top: Rally For Trayvon Bottom; No More Names
Top: Rally For Trayvon Bottom: No More Names

Lately I have been flexing my photography muscles by reducing the equipment I use to do photo shoots. I am finding that practicing street shooting helps me how I approach other shoots. It also has helped to expand my vision.

This summer offered numerous opportunities for taking interesting photos at events. I went to two that I thought would challenge me. The first one was a rally for Trayvon Martin two days after George Zimmerman was acquitted.

Armed with only a camera and speedlight, I ventured downtown to the government center where the rally was held. I won’t say I was scared or intimidated but I was apprehensive about being there and about the quality of my equipment. I have an older digital camera and I was unsure about how well it would handle the low light.

I felt out of place at first because I was still getting comfortable with street shooting and photographing people I did not know in public. I found that everyone that attended the rally either did not notice me or wanted to be photographed. I think photographing at the rally was giving voice to those who felt they had little or none. After I realized this I relaxed a little and played my role as documentary photographer.

The second rally was the anti gun violence rally called No More Names at the Federal Courthouse. There were speakers that travelled across the country to visit about 25 cities and hold this event. Some gun rights supporters also attended the rally as a show of support for gun rights advocates.

This being my second time photographing at a rally I felt more comfortable but still felt out of my element. There were almost as many photographers and videographers than attendees. So I tried to blend in.

These two experiences helped me to feel ore comfortable photographing people in public and to know my basic camera gear better. I still don’t consider myself to be a street shooter but I plan to do a lot more of it.


Diamond Lake Sunset

Diamond Lake Sunset

This photo is from my pre-digital days. I was driving home one evening and I saw a most spectacular March sunset over Diamond Lake. Because this lake is near my house I could quickly get home, load my camera with Ektachrome and have time to get a 12-exposure roll’s worth of the scene.

One of the things I like about this image is how one can get lost in the lacy intricacies of the branches.

I made this image using a Pentax 6×7, a tripod and Ektachrome 200 film. I metered for the brightest part of the sunset and opened up 1/2 stop.

1954 Christmas at the Richfield History Museum

1954 Living room and Kitchen decorated for ChristmasThe Richfield History Center offers a glimpse into the past at Christmas time. This year a gallery was transformed into a living room and kitchen vignette from 1954, all decked out for Christmas. It is the follow up from last year’s 1977 exhibit. The exhibit consists of center-owned pieces and 20 borrowed items from Richfield resident and avid collector, Gary Anderson. He was 10 years old in 1954 and recalls that year to be his apex Christmas experience.

The exhibit is 15’ x 15’ featuring an aluminum Christmas tree, metal doll house, Prince Valiant castle and knights set, living room bowling game, Holiday knick-knacks and bric-a-brac, period furniture, clothes washer with wringer, wooden snow sled, 8mm movie camera and projector, refrigerator, Christmas cards and more.

On a video screen were television programs radio clips and television commercials from 1954. I saw two cigarette commercials with Santa wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Smoking!

The year marks an iconic time for Richfield. “The suburbs were going up and it was the modern thing to do to move here, where a family with young kids could afford to have a house and a yard,” said Jodi Larson, director of the History Center. (ref.– Star Tribune)

The Richfield Historical Society was formed in 1967 to preserve and share the Bartholomew House, the first house in Richfield. In 2005, this historic Richfield house was joined by the History Center. The exhibit runs through Jan 5.

More information about the exhibit and hours can be found at

A more detailed article can be found at