Local Current Blog

Longtime local music mainstay Terry Katzman has died

Terry Katzman (courtesy Jon Clifford via Facebook)

The Current learned Saturday that Terry Katzman, a longtime fixture in the Minnesota music scene, has died.

For decades, Katzman has been a champion of bands like Hüsker Dü, the Suburbs, the Replacements and many others. Notably, in January 1982, Katzman was on hand to record a performance by the Replacements at a rent party in Minneapolis. When the police arrived to quiet the loud gathering, Katzman recorded an exchange that famously was used on the Replacements’ Stink album. Jay Gabler covered this story in depth for The Current in 2016. Here’s an interview with Katzman about that memorable party:

Katzman’s involvement with Hüsker Dü’s ascent is well documented in the Do You Remember podcast. Katzman co-founded Reflex Records with Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould to put out some of band’s early titles (including “Statues” and Everything Falls Apart). About Katzman’s role with Hüsker Dü, Mould said in 2011, “Terry was there at the very beginning.”

In addition to founding Hüsker Dü’s label, Katzman worked at the now-closed Oarfolkjokeopus Records at 26th and Lyndale in Minneapolis, he founded Garage D’Or Records, and over the past year, has been recording the performances of Lolo’s Ghost at the Driftwood Bar on Nicollet in south Minneapolis, reported by Jim Walsh in Minneapolis’s Southwest Journal.

Katzman was most recently employed at HiFi Hair and Records near Loring Park in Minneapolis. In a post to Facebook, HiFi’s Jon Clifford wrote, “[Katzman] was a friend to every person who ever met him. An incredible husband and father. Hearing him speak of his family was nothing less than humble adoration. He was my friend, and I am crying while I realize I will never hear him greet me when he comes to work, ‘Good morning, Sir Clifford.’ Farewell, Sir Terry. You have been among the finest of friends.”

What are your remembrances of Terry Katzman? Share them below.

  • Johnny Vee

    It’s HiFi’s Jon Clifford. Not Jon Collins.

  • Paul Metsa

    Sweetest guy in the music scene. Pure of heart. Great sense of humor. Terrific sound guy- it’ll get loud. Devoted husband and dad. Loved his dogs. Complete gentleman. Trusted confidant and advisor. A cheerleader for hundreds of musicians. His archive will be an amazing historic and historical collection for future generations. A mensch. A bad word about him was never said. A loss, in it’s own way, like losing Prince- he’s that important. Spent his last day record shopping. An immeasurable loss. I will miss him dearly. May he RIP.

  • brent miletich

    was in mpls last month and stopped by to see john clifford and there was mr katzman…never had met him formerly prior but he was very nice to us and we had a nice chat…………………………………………………………………
    my 20 year old daughter emily bought joni’s “don juan’s reckless daughter”…
    so sorry to hear of his passing…
    brent miletich
    california

  • Gary F

    He was a pioneer in the Minnesota music scene. He trail blazed the way for a lot of bands.

    Thank you for your contribution to make this a better world.

  • ruki444

    Oy, too many people dying these days. I knew Terry as a really nice guy whom I first met at The Longhorn around 1978/9 and he was always the go-to sound guy. Love to the family.

  • Michael Tienken

    So sad. He was such a sweet guy. Saw him all the time down at HiFi. (and it’s Jon Clifford, not Collins)

  • Todd Adams

    I first remember meeting Terry when I was a teenager. My friends and I would drive to Minneapolis from Rochester to buy records that we could not get at home. This was probably in 1978. He was working at Oar Folk one day when we stopped there and I noticed a Clash and Elvis Costello promo poster behind the counter. I asked him if there was any way I could get one and he said it couldn’t happen. Our group bought our stuff and as I was leaving, Terry rolled up both posters and gave them to me on my way out. His act of kindness made quite an impression on a group of folks just discovering punk rock and alternative music. Our paths crossed later as fellow record store owners, neighbors, and music fans and I doubt he even remembered the first time we encountered each other. I always thought Terry was exactly the kind of person who should own a record store and was sad when Garage D’or closed. It was great to see all of the things he involved himself in after that and Minneapolis is a much richer place due to his passion for music and his wisdom in archiving all of the things he was involved with. He will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences to Penny, Ben and Nick.

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  • Amanda Myers

    Terry was so incredibly knowledgeable – it was always insightful to pick his brain and get his opinion on anything music. A legend in the Minneapolis music scene and a thoughtful, funny, absolute family man full of humility. He let a story slip here and there but to hear all he’s done listed off really paints what an immeasurable loss to the music community and especially his family.

  • AS

    I met Terry at work in 2013 and was immediately attracted to his unique sense of humor and knowledge. It was about a year later that I found out about his profound involvement and impact in the local music scene as he was always willing to talk about what was going on in my life and not his own interests. He was a thoughtful man who could get along with anyone. Terry will always be a legend in my mind. I will be listening to some of the albums he gave me in memory, he will be missed.