MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Peter Jesperson has always been obsessed with music.
Over the last four decades or so, he's helped bring some of the best bands in Minneapolis to the rest of the world.
"I mean, somebody had to make records with these people because they were so great and then that's what we did," Jesperson told FOX 9.
In his new memoir, Euphoric Recall, Jesperson chronicles his 50 plus years in the music business, from his time as a DJ at Jay's Longhorn Bar in downtown Minneapolis, to working at the Oar Folkjokeopus record store in South Minneapolis, which became a popular hangout for Minnesota musicians like the Suburbs, Soul Asylum and Husker Du.
In fact, he remembers the day in 1980 when Paul Westerberg walked into the store and gave him a four-song demo from his band The Replacements, who Jesperson immediately signed to his label Twin/Tone Records.
"He said, ‘you mean you think this stuff is worth recording?’ And I said, ‘well, yeah. Why did you give me the tape?’ He said, 'I was just trying to get a date opening for somebody at the Longhorn'. So I said, I can help you get a date at the Longhorn. But I also think we should start talking about some recording and that's how it started" said Jesperson.
Jesperson became the Replacements' manager for six years as the band rose to major-label status, as well as, the road manager for REM for a summer.
He eventually relocated to California where he spent 17 years as a record executive who worked with artists like Kris Kristopherson, Dwight Yoakum, and Steve Earle.
"So basically, over the last 40 years, I've done the record store and two record labels/and I've been freelance ever since, and I love it," said Jesperson.
But Jesperson says he's most proud of the bands he worked with in his early years, like The Replacements, who even though they are no longer together, are more relevant and revered than ever before.
"I don't know if I can find the words to tell you what that means to me because I had to stick up for them at a time when a lot of people thought I was crazy. So it's some vindication, I guess," said Jesperson