Prince – First Avenue

Photo of First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

701 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN.

Built in 1937 as a Greyhound bus station, the club opened as ‘The Depot’ on April 3, 1970 with Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen.  A few name changes later, the finally settled on ‘First Avenue’ on New Years Eve, 1981. During the 80’s, local artist Prince brought the club into the spotlight making it his mainstage and his go to place for trying out new material. His landmark 13 times platinum 1984 album, Purple Rain featured the tracks “I Would Die 4 U,” “Baby I’m A Star” and “Purple Rain” that were recorded live at a show on August 3, 1983 at First Avenue. Prince’s 1984 film of the same name, “Purple Rain,” features many performance scenes shot at First Avenue. The club was paid $100,000 for use during filming and closed for 25 days.

On a non-Prince note, U2 wrote part of their October album at First Avenue during an extended sound check there.


Required Listening:

  1. Purple Rain – Prince
  2. I Would Die 4 U – Prince
  3. Baby I’m A Star – Prince
  4. Gloria – U2
  5. Rejoice – U2
Map of Minneapolis, MN

Map of Minneapolis, MN