The legendary punk rock trio, The Suicide Commandos, was honored for their pioneering work November 7, 2009, when newly re-elected Minneapolis Mayor, R.T. Rybak, proclaimed the date “Suicide Commandos Day.” Chief among the group is McNally Smith’s own Vice President of Organizational Development, Chris Osgood who played guitar in the band.
The Suicide Commandos, like other rock bands of the late ‘70s, such as The Ramones in New York and other “punk bands,” like The Sex Pistols in England, helped shape a rock ‘n roll renaissance by peeling back to the basics with a swell sense of humor and rock history.
As noted — in part — in the proclamation, “Whereas, in the words of ‘indie’ music industry shaker and mover, Peter Jesperson at New West Records in LA, ‘The Suicide Commandos are THE Granddaddy’s of the Minneapolis/St. Paul music scene that later bred The Suburbs, Husker Du, The Replacements, Soul Asylum and The Jayhawks;’ and Whereas, The Suicide Commandos put the Minneapolis Music scene on the map; and, Whereas The Suicide Commandos carved a path where there was none before. Many of the Minneapolis bands that went onto bigger success may not have done so without the Commandos ….”
The band reunited for two special “10 and Under” shows at the Walker Arts Center (10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.) and a late acoustic set at The Dakota that night at 11:00 p.m..
All three band members are still involved in making music and paving the way for others; drummer Dave Ahl is one of the primary builders of recording studies in the area; and bassist Steve Almaas, residing in New York where he is a school teacher, has been giving music lessons to aspiring rockers for years while also playing in other bands.
The band recorded for Phonogram and Twin/Tone Records 1977 – 80. The Commandos were re-released on Mercury Records, in August 1996 and were inducted into the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame in May, 2006. Pioneer Rock videographer Chuck Statler’s video of Chris’ song, “Burn It Down,” was screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in November, 2006. The Suicide Commandos were released on iTunes Island Def Jam and iTunes Twin/Tone in 2007.Newer: Gary Rue & 14 fellow musicians and vocalists pay homage to Rue’s former idol and boss
Older: Minnesota musicians and organizations like McNally Smith join forces to help revitalize music and art education for students in Minnesota public schools