First Avenue selling classic merch and collectables at garage sale
Chances are, if you spend some quality time at First Avenue and see enough shows within its hallowed black walls, you are bound to develop an affinity for the club that goes beyond just the music itself. The place becomes a part of your history, and each time you step through First Ave's doors, that entertaining story you share grows just a little bit longer.
Now, you have a chance to take that love of First Avenue home with you, as the club has just unearthed some classic club merchandise and other collectibles -- including the belt buckle above -- that they will be selling off in the Entry on Sunday, August 25, from noon until 2 p.m., as part of the First Avenue Garage Sale. All proceeds will benefit the Twin Cities Music Community Trust, a nonprofit group that assists members of the local community with medical and various other bills when they are unable to work due to illnesses or accidents.
First Avenue's art director Kristin Backman helped shed some light on what treasures this garage sale will hold for fans of the club, where this stuff has been for all these years, and if they've ever tried anything quite like this before at First Ave.
"We've never had a proper 'First Avenue Garage Sale' put on and curated by the venue itself, but I do know that there used to be an annual event in the Mainroom called 'Pastor Paul's Acoustic Garage Sale,' Backman explains. "This annual event benefited Pastor Paul's Mission in north Minneapolis. I'm not sure what led to its discontinuation, but as far as I know, this was the closest thing First Avenue ever came to an actual 'garage sale.'"
"A lot of the items we will be selling have just been tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the club, out of sight, out of mind," continues Backman. "Other items have just been sitting under desks of employees in the office and stored for years. When asked how it is possible for some items to remain untouched and tucked away in the club for so many years, any First Avenue employee can respond with, 'it was just there when I started working here.'"
As far as the oldest and most exclusive items fans can expect to find at the Garage Sale -- in addition to discontinued First Avenue & 7th St. Entry merchandise, assorted restaurant dishware and glassware, and other random treasures -- Backman said that there will be plenty of old 3/4" videos that entertained plenty of fans throughout the '80s and '90s while they waited for the band to take the stage.
"I'd say one of the oldest of gems included in this sale would be the numerous "RockAmerica ¾" music video compilations that feature music videos of the time, ranging from 1980 through 1995, respectively," Backman describes. "These videos were played in between sets at First Avenue for much of the '80s and '90s and have been stored in the basement of First Avenue, unused, for quite some time. We'd really hate to throw these away, but we really have no use for them! So we thought they would be great items to offer up to the public as collectibles. We've also got some old ¾" compilations of cartoons that were put together to play between sets at shows.
Other gems to be included are old discontinued First Avenue merch items that have been sitting stored away for some time, as well as other unsold promotional items that have been distributed in the past."
Backman stresses that all sales will be cash only, and all sales are final -- with no refunds, credits, or exchanges. Other than that, the garage sale will be first come-first served, with no limitations on how much First Ave merchandise you can walk away with. And, no matter what you end up taking home with you, you will know that all proceeds from purchases will be going to an extremely worthy cause.