Brian Ritchie, founding bassist of Milwaukee alternative rock group Violent Femmes, stopped by south Minneapolis' Twin Town Guitars Tuesday morning along with a two members of the Femmes' crew and support band.
According to Twin Town assistant manager (and Brian's nephew) Dylan Ritchie, the band needed to purchase a melodica, and a few other supplies for their two-night stand at First Avenue on July 5 and 6.
"He picked up the mallets to the xylophone and he played the first half of the solo to 'Gone Daddy Gone,'" Dylan said. "That was pretty sweet."
Brian Ritchie was accompanied by Blaise Garza, one of Violent Femmes' touring horn players, and a crew member named Mike, according to Dylan. The musicians were treated to a tour of the premises, and spent around 15 minutes in the shop.
"They’ve ordered things from us before, but this would be the first time that he got to drop by the store," Dylan explained. "I think the impression was pretty great. We showed them our listening areas where we have our youth band program, and the office where I do the website stuff. Of course, we spent most of our time in the bass section, no surprise."
Brian Ritchie reached out to Dylan via social media to arrange the trip, and Dylan says that the two of them talked their extended family that would be in attendance for the band's shows, along with Brian's plans to explore the city.
"Brian said that he was going to head down to the Walker to catch the [Hüsker Dü drummer] Grant Hart exhibition," Dylan said. "He knows Grant from their SST [record label] days, so he’s always looking for those kind of people that he knows when he’s in town."
Twin Town guitar sales representative James Wold was working the counter during the band's visit, and said that he was impressed by how approachable they were.
"It’s cool to have bands of that caliber come in, and to be reminded that, at the end of the day, they’re just people, and that most of the time, they’re really nice people." Wold said. "They just want to find gear and talk shop, and there’s a little bit of leeway if you really want to nerd out."