Curtiss A performed at the Cedar last summer for the Rock for Karl II fundraiser and might return tonight to protest Stephin Merritt.
God help you, Stephin Merritt. You have incurred the wrath of Curtiss A.
The Twin Cities’ Dean of Scream -- who famously led a tribute to John Lennon on the night of his death, which became an annual tradition at First Avenue -- is still fuming about comments the Magnetic Fields singer/songwriter made to City Pages about Lennon in November. He’s so mad, in fact, he planned to protest tonight outside the Cedar Cultural Center, where another of Merritt's groups, Future Bible Heroes, is performing. There was one problem with his plan, though: Merritt is not actually touring with the group right now due to "ear issues," per the band's website.
“My curse worked,” the real-life Curt Almsted gloated.
Responding to writer Monica LaPlante’s request to name his “least favorite song to listen to,” Merritt gave this response:
“I think it would have to be John Lennon's ‘Imagine.’ It makes me want to shoot him. I violently object to the political sentiment and I also hate the piano playing. It's like being forced to read a greeting card very slowly [pause] at gunpoint [pause] in the Soviet Union in 19[pause]71... It's funny that a billionaire would say, "Imagine there's no possessions, I wonder if you can."
A guy that has been known to shoot his mouth off a time or two with startling results, Curt said he can forgive Stephen for bashing the Beatles. “Who cares? It was 60 years ago,” he said. But he can’t get over the shooting remark: “There’s already too much hate in this world.” He also questioned the billionaire comment, saying, “[Lennon], of all people, would know that having all the possessions in the world can’t make you happy.”
To show his disgust, Curt wanted to brandish a protest sign outside the Cedar tonight. He was thinking, “Imagine there’s no Stephin Merritt.” He would also like to meet Merritt face-to-face to “make him feel as bad as he should.” Almsted admits he’s not familiar with the Magnetic Fields or other works of Merritt, but he knows they have a connection in mutual cohort Bob Mould. “I gave Bob his first gig,” he reminded.
Curt said he is still considering his protest plans -- even in lieu of Merritt's absence -- but either way he wants him to answer for his comments: “I just can’t get past this.”
[Photo: Jeff Wheeler]