I was incredibly lucky to grown up in the Twin Cities during the heydey of the "Minneapolis sound" of the 1980s. From early Prince (and *everyone* here has a Prince story) to thrashing Husker Du, from Trip Shakespeare to the Mats, it was a golden time of music that formed the core of what I listen to today.
But nothing, nothing was bigger to me at that time than The Wallets. I must have seen them hundreds of times. Usually outside during Movies and Music in the Park or something like that, occasionally in a club when the door staff understood that we were there to see the music and wouldn't f*ck it up by trying to order a drink ("all ages shows" were yet to be A Thing), I danced away to the punk polka sounds of those talented men.
When I saw Steve Kramer at a get-together this summer, I was surprised by how frail he looked. But as soon as we got to talking there was not an ounce of weakness in him — he was the same smart, thoughtful, creative man I had known-but-not-known decades earlier. And I felt lucky that he was still out there creating.
Steve Kramer died in his sleep last night, and the world is a much less rich place without him.
And for me, I think that is my very last piece of high school officially gone.
(*just look up the song, would 'ya? Here you go: http://www.twintonedigital.com/mp3/88154-01.mp3)