Ubiquitous in the early days of Minnesota New Wave, Robert Ivers was a prolific local music pioneer. He released six different 45s under five different names, had a track on the best regional compilation of all time ‘Big Hits of Mid America Vol. III’ on the mighty Twin Tone Records, and an unheralded LP just called ‘ROCK AND ROLL’. The 45s were pressed in paltry batches of 100. The 1987 LP was fashioned by the then-novel “generic” product concept, was pressed in a batch of 1000 copies, many of which were lost in an era of “hard living”. His first recording act The Ice Stars were the precursor for the band Fingerprints, who are noted to have one of the first three “little red records” on Twin Tone (among two others). The Ice Stars are one of three New-Wave acts from Minnesota who pre-dated the Suicide Commandos with a record, along with Prodigy and Skogie.
The two letters I present here are basically The Rosetta Stone of Minnesota New Wave. The hand-written one was recently sent to David Campbell at 89.3 KCMP The Current via Minnesota Public Radio, and Rusty Jones’ letter was submitted to City Pages in 2005.
All of Bob’s music can be heard via CDBaby under the name BEATLESTONE, there are nine LPs worth of material, many of which are free downloads. At 61 years of age in 2014, he’s glad to share his recordings.
Ice Stars “Emergency One” b/w “Geared Down Low” 1980 New Age Records 1
Ice Stars “The Great N.Y. Subway Tragedy” b/w “I’ve Been Down” 1982 New Age Records 2
|A1||We Got Rock n Roll|
|A5||Send Me Some Loving|
|B3||Lindy Hop Bop|
|B5||It’s Back to Rock|
Luv this track from various artists compilation ‘Big Hits of Mid-America Vol. III’: Sugar My Road (1979- Twin Tone Records)
Thanks to Robert Ivers, Rich Copely, David Campbell, and Rusty Jones for permission, music, and clues.
NEWSFLASH Feb 13, 2017… drummer James Miller just called. He wanted to make sure y’all know that bassist Steve Throne (Mark “Fingerprints” Throne’s brother) and James Rinehart got a mention here since they were a big part of the Ice Stars’ sound. The band’s ‘Heineken Tour’ centered around Duffy’s nightclub in South Minneapolis. Sue McLean would book the Ice Stars there opening for The Kings (“Wall-to-Wall crowded”), Mi-Sex, & The Members, paid with a case of the green bottles. Steve eventually left and was replaced on bass by Dave Phoser, who’s melodic playing can be heard on The Kid & The Rebel 45.
So hats off not only to Bob himself but all the Glen Lake guys from Eisenhower & Lindberg High Schools- Minnetonka represented well.
Some stuff from James: