1 stage, 2 rock legends

This week the Attic recalls the 10-year anniversaries of two significant Northland events. Today, a look back at the July 3, 1999, concert at Bayfront Festival Park pairing Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Some of us in the Attic even remember being part of the audience or listening from outside the gates. If you attended, share your thoughts on this most memorable concert. The Attic dug up the News Tribune’s review of the Saturday evening show. But first, a photo of the two on stage.




The News Tribune’s review of the concert led Page 1 the next day. Here it is.

Rock legends wow Duluth

Singers-songwriters Dylan, Simon generate fireworks of their own

Published: Sunday, July 4, 1999
By Craig Lincoln and Chris Casey/News-Tribune staff writers

Note to the city of Duluth:

Please book Bob Dylan and Paul Simon for every Fourthfest weekend.

Any mere fireworks display will pale in comparison to the eruption that occurred when native son Dylan, dressed in a black jacket with white trim and black pants, joined Simon on stage Saturday night at Bayfront Festival Park.

The rock legends, following Simon’s opening 90-minute set, began a three-song duet at 9 p.m.

Dylan and Simon combined on Simon’s classic hit, “The Sounds of Silence’; Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line’; and Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.’

Simon closed out the duet portion saying, “Thanks for having me in Bob’s hometown. It feels great to be here.’

The crowd’s enthusiasm was classic Northland: no mere muddy field or rain will keep us from our appointed fun.

When Simon took the stage, the cheers grew from the front, where the early birds stood right in front of the stage, to the back, where the late-comers set up lawn chairs on a small rise of land near the park’s permanent band tent. About 10 acres of people filled the festival grounds.

A lot of people were there — well, about 10 acres worth of people. Dan Russell, executive director of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, estimated that 20,000 tickets had been sold.

Simon wasted no time getting the crowd into his popular and long song list. He opened with “Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and had everybody from young women in tie dyed T-shirts to aging baby boomers in cotton sweaters swaying to the music.

Backed by an 11-piece band playing its trademark World Beat Style, Simon cranked out a feel-good set of hits that spanned the decades.

He quickly jumped into more recent material, including “Can’t Run But,’ and “The Boy in the Bubble.’

His 17-song performance kept the crowd jumping with a band that included three drummers, a tight horn section, a cellist and an accordionist.

If this is Dylan’s Duluth, this must be the day for a big concert at Bayfront Festival Park, because the weather was perfect.

By our standards, that is.

The excitement over native son Dylan wasn’t dampened by the rainy weather. In fact, it seemed the locals took it all in stride.

As they well should, because if someone with roots in the Northland were blindfolded and dropped into the middle of the concert grounds, it would be abundantly clear this was a summer Duluth concert.

The fog dipped lower and lower and made the tops of the grain elevators on Rice’s Point a fuzzy gray. Ore boats glided by and sails from sailboats floated through the air above the crowd.

The 704-foot ore boat H. Lee White glided by the concert grounds before it ever began. The ship provided a backdrop to the dozen sailboats, fishing boats and yachts that clustered close to shore. The number eventually grew to a couple of dozen boats, including one red canoe rafted up with a sea kayak.

People streamed into the concert grounds constantly, lining up hours before the gates opened and eventually forming a line stretching so far one concert-goer guessed it was a mile long.

With that many people streaming into the park, slightly wet places turned into muddy puddles. Some high-stepped gingerly across the mud, others simply plowed through, slip-sliding away through the festival grounds.

Eventually, the beer tents were full. But there was evidence this was more than a young party crowd: The lines to the pop and popcorn stands stretched more than 50 yards long.

“The crowd-watching is very interesting,’ said Ann Ness of Minneapolis. “I’m up here with my mother-in-law and she’s enjoying it.’

Some late-comers simply decided not to fight the mud.

Mike Miller, 39, of Rice Lake, Wis., stood in the middle of the park well away and behind the crowd. He discovered the acoustics were much better there.

“I tried getting up there,’ he said, looking ahead at the distant Simon tent. “It’s a muddy mess.’

The fans came for many reasons. Some were aging baby boomers, others young fans looking for good song writing.

“We thought it would probably be the last time they’d be here,’ said Joe Johnston, 46, of Amnicon. “We grew up with Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. They were our story tellers.’

Some were college age, a new generation of Dylan and Simon fans, barefoot and with pierced tongues.

“Bob Dylan is the best songwriter in the whole wide world,’ said Christina Newhouse, a Los Angeles-area resident who came here to visit some friends. “Not to mention he is the worst singer, but he can get away with it.’

To the Dylan fans, and not surprisingly, they came for his lyrics.

One came for the experience, although he preferred the Grateful Dead.

“I love his lyrics,’ said Loren Lemke, 37, of Minneapolis. “And the band just rocks when he plays.’

Two friends, originally Wisconsin residents but who now work in Cancun, Mexico, made the concert a spur-of-the-moment event in the middle of a business trip.

“I don’t think he can sing for beans, but he’s great with words,’ said Dick Ware, 50.

“I just like rock and roll music in general,’ said Jerry Thorson, 42.

Thom Burrell, 48, of Duluth, bought tickets as soon as he could. “Paul Simon is my all-time favorite songwriter. I’ve never seen him before, and I’m a concert-going nut,’ Burrell said. “I knew this was one I wouldn’t want to miss.’

Here is Simon mixing it up with the crowd shortly after taking the stage.

Here’s a story, from two days after the concert, focusing on fans’ reactions.

Pairing leaves fans satisfied


Published: Monday, July 5, 1999
By Chris Casey/News-Tribune staff writer

“I was born on the hill over there. Glad to see it’s still there,’ Dylan said about two-thirds of the way through his set. “My first girlfriend came from here. She was so conceited, I used to call her Me-me.’

With just a few words, Duluth native and world-renowned rock icon Bob Dylan brought “it all back home’ in indelible fashion Saturday night at Bayfront Festival Park.

After Dylan uttered the words that will go down in lore — as almost all of his rare chatting-with-the-crowd moments do, especially those coming in his native town — the crowd of 20,000 went wild.

“It’s great, it’s perfect,’ said Dan Moen, 36, of Duluth.

“He actually talked this time,’ said his wife, Karen. “He never said a word last time.’

She was referring to Dylan’s first-ever Duluth concert last October in the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Arena. Though that sold-out show was well-received, some fans were disappointed that Dylan didn’t say anything about Duluth or Hibbing, where he grew up.

So, this time around, there weren’t many built-up expectations.

“I didn’t expect him to’ make a Duluth reference, Karen Moen, 37, said. “But I think he’s having more fun tonight.’

She added, “I think he’s more relaxed, or he’s having more fun, definitely. He was a lot more uptight the first show (in October).’

Asked if she had any theories as to why Dylan has played his native city twice in the past eight months, she said, “He’s had a near-death experience. He wants to come back.’

Dylan suffered from histoplasmosis, swelling of the sac around the heart caused by a fungal infection, in 1997.

Karen Moen said her mother graduated from Hibbing High School in 1959 — in the same class as then-Bob Zimmerman.

“She knew him, yeah. He once asked her out and she said no way,’ Karen Moen said. “He asked her to go roller skating.’

Holly Stroozas, 16, of Two Harbors also saw Dylan’s October show in Duluth. She said Dylan seemed “super happy’ that night.

“He seems like he’s having a lot of fun’ again, she said at Saturday’s concert, which also featured Paul Simon. “He’s smiling a lot. He seems to be glad to be back at home.’

Stroozas’ friend Lindsay Stewart, 16, of Two Harbors said she was just getting acquainted with Dylan’s music. “He’s good. I like his singing, for an old guy, anyway.’

The 58-year-old Dylan kept Judy Gadiel, 27, dancing throughout his energetic set.

“I think it’s awesome. I came all the way from Chicago to see this show,’ Gadiel said. “I think this place (Bayfront) is great. The sound is awesome and Bob Dylan is phenomenal.’

Gadiel was watching her third Dylan concert. “There’s nothing like seeing him outside and having his voice carry in the air. I like Paul Simon and I was happy to hear Paul Simon, but I came mostly for Bob Dylan.’

Ann Ness, who traveled from Minneapolis to see the show, said she enjoyed the Dylan-Simon combination.

“Having Paul Simon’s funky sound marry up with Bob Dylan is real nice, and they seem to be having fun,’ Ness said.

Her husband, Doug, said the “rusty’ quality of Dylan’s voice “is not very good, but the ideas and the heart is there.’ He said the pairing of “two of the premier songwriters of our time’ was too big to miss.

It will be a long time before the afterglow of Dylan’s performance — and comments — wears off.

He does, in fact, seem to care about his Northland roots. At least that’s the message Stroozas got from Dylan’s show.

“I’m glad he did’ mention his native city, she said. “Because now they (his Northland fans) know.’

Speaking of fans…

These two didn’t let the soupy ground at Bayfront hinder their enjoyment.


The concert packed the festival grounds a couple hours before the musicians took the stage.

Michael Jackson exposed

Michael Jackson may have never played a concert in Duluth, but he did appear in our newspaper numerous times for various reasons. In life, he was a person who was fascinating to people worldwide. In death, he most likely will be only more so. 

Here’s a look at what the News Tribune archives revealed about the King of Pop.

In 1984, MTV was promoting its world premiere of a one-hour documentary on the making of Jackson’s "Thriller" video, a 14-minute mini-movie directed by John Landis, whose film credits include "American Werewolf in London" and "Animal House." 


Michael Jackson performs in his music video for "Black or White," a track off his "Dangerous" album released in 1991. The video premiered simultaneously in 27 countries and featured some, at the time, risque dance moves.



In 1984, the LJN Toy Company introduced the first official Michael Jackson doll, complete with a sequined glove and socks. It was the first doll likeness approved by Jackson and it cost $13.


Remember this unfortunate 1984 incident? Somehow even I do, although I was a few months shy of 5 years old at the time.

And maybe Jackson did have a Duluth connection after all. A local 12-year-old named Sherry Swanson won tickets to see him in concert in Detroit in 1984. She signed up for the contest at a Duluth Burger King. Anyone know Sherry, or if she enjoyed the show?

Michael Jackson in 1977, clearly before his many facial metamorphoses. Check out that nose. I wonder what he would have looked like without all the plastic surgery?

Target through the years

If you’ve made a shopping trip to the Duluth Target recently, no doubt you’ve gotten a sneak peak at their renovation plans. The Minnesota-based big-box retailer now is adding a larger food section. Though Target, which made Duluth its fourth store in 1962, never has been a quaint mom-and-pop shop, the big red circled dot hasn’t always been so diverse. Look back at these photos and see how Target has changed right along with the times.

The day after Christmas must be the worst day of the year for a Target employee, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the woman (front, with skirt) in this 1980 photo. She looks ecstatic to be helping customers wade through the return/exchange line. The man with the hat and glasses is holding an Atari game (he must be exchanging a defective one; no one returned an Atari), and the young girl is holding a basic duffle bag.


More Christmas mayhem, from 1984. All we can say about this photo is, "Wow." Not a smiling face in the bunch. Check out the iconic triangular-head Santa hanging from the ceiling.


This woman is:

(a) DNT bird-watching blogger John Lundy’s assistant;

(b) A pro football fan watching the game from the worst stadium skybox in history; or,

(c) A Target asset protection manager checking on customer behavior through a peephole.

If you chose answer c, give yourself a pat on the back. In 1990, the News Tribune wrote a story about shoplifting at local stores. Employee Margie Koivunen explained she only used the binoculars if she found something unusual on the television monitors. The closed circuit surveillance monitors are at the far left of Koivunen’s office.

The News Tribune story below says Duluth was in line for a Target Greatland. What happened?

Target Corp. plans to expand Duluth store

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Target Corp. is planning to expand and remodel its Duluth store into a Target Greatland, a larger format with more mer-chandise and services than a typical Target store.
Torrie Enget, assistant manager at the Duluth store, said the plans have not yet received final corporate approval. But the Duluth Planning Commission will consider the proposal at its 5 p.m. meeting today.
The store upgrade will be handled differently than most. Normally, the discount retailer would build a new store in the parking lot of the existing one, tearing down the old store when the new one is finished.
But the Duluth store doesn’t have enough room on its property to accommodate such a plan. Enget said the tentative plans call for knocking down some walls in the existing store and adding about 25,835 square feet of warehouse and retail space.
Work could begin in late July and wrap up in summer 2001. The store would remain open during the remodeling, Enget said.
A typical Target store is 90,000 to 125,000 square feet. A Greatland store averages 135,000 square feet, carries more mer-chandise and has wider aisles, among other features.
In addition to the expansion, plans call for adding a second entrance to the store; reconfiguring the parking lot; installing new lighting fixtures; adding new landscaping features; and developing a stormwater management basin at the corner of Mall Drive and Maple Grove Road.
Opened in 1962, the Duluth store was the fourth Target to open and is one of the oldest in the chain.
Target Corp. has grown significantly in recent years. The company operates 1,243 stores in 44 states and posted sales of $2.052 billion in the four weeks ended Jan. 29.



What’s bad about post-Christmas Target shopping? The long wait in the returns/exchanges line. What’s good about it? The heavy discounts. Above, Marianne Robertson maneuvers her shopping cart through a crowded parking lot after taking advantage of half price sales on gift wrap and presents to give for birthdays the following year.


Well, sometimes you make a wrong turn on a shopping trip. In 2007, heavy fall rain swelled nearby Miller Creek and flooded the area around target. Apparently, the driver of the car above lost track of where the road was and drove into a sinkhole.

Here’s an aerial view of Target from a couple weeks ago. The remodling is scheduled to be complete in July.

July 4 BWCAW blowdown

Today the Attic has the second installment of this week’s look at two events that occurred 10 years ago this week. On July 4, 1999, Mother Nature sent a furious wind storm through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Celebrating Park Point

Today’s warm, muggy weather has the News Tribune Attic thinking of the beach, the water and Park Point, Duluth’s favorite playground. Here are some odd or interesting photos we came across from the mid- and late 1980s from the point.

In this July 1986 photo by News Tribune photographer Dave Ballard, Maggie Walker sits in the lifeguard tower at the beach near the Park Point beach house. The signs posted on the tower and Walker’s presence in the life guard chair are in conflict, though the sunbathers in the background seem to be enjoying themselves nonetheless.


Three years later, photographer Ballard captured these two youngsters participating in a sand sculpting contest at the Park Point Recreation Area. The contest was sponsored by KZIO radio and Duluth Parks and Rec and drew more than 200 kids. The two boys above (from left) Matt Dobosenski and Jason Scurlock, both age 13 and from Duluth, were entered in the contest as "two-headed sand dude." Assuming the ages were correct  in the original caption, they would be 33 years old this year. Is it just us, or does Scurlock bear a striking resemblence to childhood acting star Corey Feldman (below)? The Attic wonders whether either Dobosenski or Scurlock still live in the area. Do you know?


How often do you see a tractor in the bay? In 1987, Gene’s Pest Control was employed to tow pieces of refuse from a Superior elevator fire from the previous year. We found no News Tribune account of the fire. But according to the photo caption, debris from the fire floated across the bay and were deposited  along the beach past Sky Harbor Airport. Jeff Winkels and Jim Winkels of Duluth are doing the "dredging."


What Park Point pictorial is complete without a shot from the art fair? In 1984, Ryan Kern of Duluth and Wendy Johnson of Duluth took interest in a collection of brass rings by Minneapolis artist Bob Nordstrom. The Park Point Art Fair marks its 39th confluence of art, food and music this Saturday and Sunday.


Skulduggery seems to be afoot here as young men and woman smoke(!) and drink(!) along on unspecified area of Park Point. In 1986, the News Tribune wrote a story about partying on the point. We couldn’t help but notice all the serious faces in this photo. Did the community outcry make these partiers feel like pariahs? Was this photo taken at the parking lot at the end of the point? Does anyone know the extent of the partying that went on down there in the 1980s? Answers to any of these questions are most welcome.

Here’s a photo of the concession stand inside the beach house from 1986. We couldn’t zoom in on the photo enough to ascertain prices of any of the snacks, but apparently Park Point goers enjoyed Coca-Cola in the 1980s. Get a load of the clock, which seems to have been some kind of scoreboard retrofitted into the beach house.


Whatever your Park Point activities entail, remember to pick up after yourself.

Lemon Drop restaurant revisited, 1981

June 1981


The Lemon Drop restaurant sign appears in this June 1981 photo. (Karl Jaros / News-Tribune)

Lemon Drop Hill is as much a part of Grandma’s Marathon as the annual race’s finish line on Canal Park Drive. The marathon’s 33rd running takes place Saturday.

The hill, which sits near 26th Avenue East on London Road in Duluth, was named after the Lemon Drop restaurant, which used to reside at 2631 London Rd. until it closed during the expansion of Interstate 35 around 1990.

News Tribune reporters Kevin Pates and Mark Stodghill have each taken credit for the name, Pates said.

He made reference to the hill in a Grandma’s Marathon race story in 1983 “when England’s Gerry Helme won and was in a battle with American John Tuttle. Tuttle made a move on Lemon Drop Hill, just past the 22-mile mark, but Helme caught him with less than two miles remaining.”

The reporters, both avid runners, took a cue from the Boston Marathon’s famed Heartbreak Hill, which rests at about the 21-mile mark.

More photos of the area around the Lemon Drop restaurant can be found at a previous Attic post from March 23, 2008.

Streets projects, 1986

Winter is over, so it must be time for the other Minnesota season, road construction. Now that the frost is gone, it’s a good time to dig in and get to work.

This shot looks west down East Fourth Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues
East in Duluth. Workers are removing the driving surface. (Charles Curtis / News Tribune)

Workers install new sewer pipes on 19th Avenue East between Sixth and Seventh
streets in Duluth in August 1986. The street was being redone as part of a $750,000
project. (Dave Ballard / News Tribune)

This photo looking south from Anderson Road shows Decker Road
between Mall Drive and Piedmont Avenue in September 1986.
The contractor for the project was Reubin Johnson & Son of
Superior. (Charles Curtis / News Tribune)

Graduations a quarter-century ago

June 1984

Graduation ceremonies keep news photographers hopping during the month of June. Here’s a look at commencements around the Twin Ports 25 years ago, in 1984.

Teresa Gomulak looks on as Holly Gilbert adjusts the tassel on Mike Golat’s mortarboard. Golat (far right) in turn fiddles with Holly’s tassel. The group was waiting to enter the main auditorium at Superior Senior High School for graduation exercises. (John Rott / News Tribune) June 7, 1984.

University of Minnesota Duluth home economics education graduate Bea Anderson is joined by her brother, David, and mother, Ione. The Andersons are from the Meadowlands. (Joey McLeister / News Tribune) June 7, 1984.

Jeff Verville buttons up Darren Veith in the boys’ washroom before graduation ceremonies at Duluth East High School. At right is Larry Birkedahl. (Bob King / News Tribune) June 11, 1984.

Randy Ozan and Jay Rodne carry their graduation gowns on their way to baccalaureate ceremonies at Duluth Denfeld High School. (Bob King / News Tribune) June 10, 1984.

Humorist Erma Bombeck delivers the commencement address for the College of St. Scholastica at the Duluth Arena. (Joey McLeister / News Tribune) May 24, 1984.

Jim and Carol Lyle pose with their son Jay for the Duluth Central High School graduation ceremony at the Duluth Arena. (Bob King / News Tribune) June 12, 1984.

Bill Ackerman of Ely and Jane Nickila of Duluth, graduating seniors, laugh at a joke made by Mavis Messelt, and instructor at St. Luke’s School of Nursing. Mary Vnuk (right) coordinator of the school, looks on. (John Rott / News Tribune) June 9, 1984.

Adams School, 1885-1951


Adams School at 18th Avenue West and Superior Street in Duluth was built in 1885 and closed in 1951.

I found this photo in the News Tribune archives and immediately wanted to post it. There’s no year listed to mark when the photo was taken, but the dates June 12, 1986, and July 3, 1986, appear on the back. Clearly this photo was taken long before 1986.

Does anyone have information to add about Adams School?

Central Mini Mall, 1979

December 1979


The Central Mini Mall, seen here in this December 1979 photo, was located at 324 Central Ave. in Spirit Valley in Duluth. (Bob King / News-Tribune)


The Central Mini Mall resided at 324 Central Ave. in Duluth’s Spirit Valley in 1979 and was home to such stores as Jeans Jeans and Heather’s Place.
Today, the building houses Beaner’s Central Concert Coffeehouse, where they sell beans instead of jeans.


Roberta Willoughby straightens wreathes at Heather’s Place. (1979 file / News-Tribune)


Kay Haugland, owner of Jeans Jeans, takes care of jeans on a store rack. (1979 file / News-Tribune)


Kay Haugland holds up a sweater at her store, Jeans Jeans. (1979 file / News-Tribune)