Steve McClellan (right) and Jack Meyers (left) celebrate at First Avenue in 2004/ Star Tribune photo by Jeff Wheeler

Steve McClellan (right) and Jack Meyers (left) celebrate at First Avenue in 2004/ Star Tribune photo by Jeff Wheeler

Steve McClellan has always done things his way. Quirky, cranky, verbosely opinionated and hugely influential, he ran First Avenue for 30 years. Now, the mayors of both Minneapolis and St. Paul have declared Stephen McClellan Day. On Sunday. Today. A day of rest? Nah, McClellan never rests.

The timing is not his quirkiness but rather whereas March 22 is his 65th birthday, the mayors made their declarations on this day.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ proclamation points out that McClellan was born in Minneapolis and went to DeLaSalle High School there. He has served on the board of the Cedar Cultural Center, KFAI Radio, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group and the Downtown Warehouse Association.

As talent buyer, marketing director and eventually general manager of First Avenue, he helped nurture the careers of such local heroes as the Jayhawks, Husker Du, Replacements, the Suburbs, the Wallets, Prince, the Time and the Flamin’ Oh’s.

McClellan also presented such future giants as R.E.M., U2, Nirvana and Green Day early in their careers.

In an identical declaration (who writes these things?), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman mentions that McClellan teaches music business classes at McNally Smith in downtown St. Paul and helps run Diverse Emerging Music Organization (DEMO) to assist aspiring musicians.

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