Moorhead State University 

(now known as Minnesota State University Moorhead)

The following videos were created in the early ‘90s during my time at Moorhead State University. They were the product of Bob Schieffer from the AV department, Mike Cihak, his assistant and Al Breuer, a theater guy who was working somewhere in maintenance. Their incredible efforts, vision, and support made those years and these videos possible, along with the many students involved (typically two performances of each concert). It is my hope that this format will give them more deserved visability. Most were broadcast on North Dakota Prairie Broadcasting within a year of the actual concerts. My deepest thanks go out to Bob, Mike, & Al. It was an honor and a privliege to work with them. By the end it seemed there was nothing they couldn’t do, and I will never forget them.

“A Tribute to Cream” was my first foray back in to live performing in the rock genre. Students had constantly urged me, but it wasn’t until I purchased the ‘83 Rivera mod 18-watt Fender Super Champ (and a Seymour Duncan Super Distortion tail pick-up!) that I was able to envision how to replace my trusty old 100-watt Marshall on stage in a university environment. This video was our first attempt--it’s pretty crude!--but I love the music and playing. The emphasis on this concert was the Chicago blues roots in the late ‘60s rock scene. Those songs transformed my life.

The Best of Cream:  Creme De La Cream

have you ever been experienced?  

A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix

Of course, the Cream video led to strong requests for a Hendrix tribute! Again, an early effort, but man was it fun. It was my goal to demonstrate some of the wonderful techniques that Jimi learned in his years with the Isley Brothers on the chitlin’ circuit.

A Beatles tribute followed which really got the attention of the university administration. They then met with me to brainstorm “You Say You Want a Revolution.” They were hooked when I talked about the causal effects of this music on society rather than just the conventional reflection of social norms. The first set earmarked the unbelievably great music of that era. The acoustic and third set delved deeply into the causal effects and the role of John Lennon and other visionaries. University president, Roland Dille, was an important part of this concert. He was concerned at the time that we might make him look foolish. Years later he told me that we made him a rock star!

You Say You Want a Revolution:  

Music and American Life from 1968 through 1971

A Tribute to Freddie Mercury and Queen

Bob Schieffer and crew really lobbied hard for the Queen show. I wasn’t a huge fan, but when the opportunity arose to assist the local Aids folks, I was in. Great fun working with the choir, as well. Interesting to hear it all come back now with the movie.

The Pink Floyd show was just fantastic. The students were really behind this show. Al simply outdid himself in construction of the wall for this design. We took a very dark, psychological approach to the whole show. Mark Brodin actually shaved his beard during the performance to play three different roles. Jay Walters lost a ton of weight to play one of the Pink characters.

A Tribute to Pink Floyd and The Wall

Scary Monsters of Rock:  

Act I Halloween Light and Act II Halloween Dark

One of my favorite shows was the Halloween gig. The second set (Halloween Dark) gave us the opportunity to play some great music I couldn’t figure out otherwise how to program (e.g., Deep Purple, Ozzy, Focus, Uriah Heep, AC/DC, etc.). Monica Winter did an outstanding job as “Elvirus,” the show host.

The last show was the “Tribute to ELP.” I really wanted to showcase the classical roots of these pieces (and show my students that I could play keyboards as well as the guitar!). We actually flew Michael Piper to Fargo to see these performances. Later, Mike told me that ELP had seen the video and were quite impressed. Of course, he knew them.

A Tribute to Classical

Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Mike Coates

Barking Dog Records & Raptor Studios

© 2019 by Mike Coates. Designed by Adam Lien