3 Minute Hero Hitch your star to our wagon of poor decisions.


Trains: Variations on a Theme.


Do you know what's fun? Besides having that dream where you're fighting ponytail guy in the tippy tops of the bamboo forest in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"? Playing with Reel Big Fish. That was a lot of fun. That happened this past Tuesday at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis. Holy shit! Did you know that there are trains running right in the middle of Minneapolis? Trains! What is this? Trainsylvania? Atlanta? Anyhoo...Mill City Nights is located across the street (and, spoiler alert, train tracks) from Epic. We played Epic once and I was so sick that I exited stage right mid-song, threw up, returned and sang the rest of the song. If that is not the gleaming paragon of Midwestern work ethic, then I quit. Where was I? Trains! We were supposed to have jet cars or at the very least ghost chariots by now. Trains are so 1864. Do you know what else is so 1864? Eric Johnson. For those of you who get all of your 3 Minute Hero news solely through the website or hastily printed handbills, you may want to sit down: I have news of great import. First of all, everybody is OK. Second of all, after 19 years, I have attained the post of First Chair Trombone, so, suck it nerds. Thirdly, Eric Johnson has quit the band in order to work on his model railroad. It is, and I speak from experience, an amazing specimen. It's an HO gauge layout that depicts a fictionalized Milwaukee of the mid-1950's. It is beautiful and all of the surviving members of 3 Minute Hero wish him luck on this most noble of callings. Our parting request is that when he has finished this life's masterwork, he will invite all of us to his inner sanctum. His hair, flecked with gray and curling out from beneath his engineer's cap will speak of his years spent in solitude, hunched over boxcars and buildings, creating a universe of his own making. When he sweeps the curtain with his hand to reveal the decades of work, we, the remaining members of 3 Minute Hero, will say in a monotone unison, "We all thought you were crazy to quit the band in order to follow your dream of making an HO gauge replica of 1950's Milwaukee, but clearly, you were right: this is amazing. This is perfect." And having witnessed perfection, we will disappear in a puff of smoke that will at once seem too small, yet cause Eric to cough violently for days.

Good luck Eric. That was a lot of fun.

Toot. Toot.


Works in Progress #11: Okoboji Volcano [Parts 2 & 3]


What is the price of living in paradise? I'm not talking about dollars or rubles. I'm talking about the trade-offs. Some live in the shadow of volcanoes. Others live on active fault lines. Some of us even live in St. Paul. Regardless, Fate's drunk ass invariably shows up at our door demanding that which we thought was ours and when she does, you best have your New Balances laced up, a full tank of gas, and a week's worth of canned goods and bottled water because she is as relentless as she is capricious. This song, "Okoboji Volcano [Parts 2 & 3]" are about living in the shadow of the volcano and about how everything somehow comes together when you need it to. It is to be the first song of the second section of our forthcoming double-album titled "Jumbo Jet Whispers & Thunder Lizard Serenades: The Journey of 3 Minute Hero."

You always knew / What was best.

I took care of today / You took care of the rest.

All our worries: so petty and small --

It's so clear now after the fall,

But how can you know when she's going to blow?

You always knew / What was best about me.

That's why we're here / under the coconut trees.

All our worries: so petty and small --

So clear now after the fall,

But how can you know when she's going to blow?

Breeze blowing in off the ocean -- all right.

Breeze blowing in from the sea -- oh yeah.

Breeze blowing in through the valley and over the darkness of the water.

Breeze blowing in from the mountain -- all right.

Breeze blowing in off the the mountain -- oh yeah.

Hey man, that's not a mountain.

I know that's not a mountain.

We all know that's not a mountain.

All right.


Little baby puff of smoke / Everything is okie-doke.

Grab a bag of avocados then we go home.

Chop an onion, squeeze a lime / Guacamole just in time

for beer, chips, and Apocalypse Now.

Good thing we kept the Vespa and not the goats.

Good thing you took that course on how to fly helicopters.

Bingo-bango: sugar in the gas tank.

Bingo-bango: failure can be so sweet.

Bingo-bango: Okoboji volcano.

Driving here, driving there / Driving with no underwear

Lava lava everywhere / That's a bad poem.

Through the jungle / Through the trees,

Through the ancient idol's knees.

Pretty, pretty, pretty please: let me go home.

Don't stop the carnival but do not look back.

Good thing T.C. showed you how to fly his Island Hopper.

Good thing we built our shack up on high land

Upon the packed down sand

You think we'd understand, but you'd be wrong.


You always knew / What was best.

You took car of today. / I took care of the rest.

Our daily worries so petty and small --

It's so clear now after the fall,

But how can you know when she's going to blow?


All of this particular material is copyrighted ©2014 Jeff Nelson.




3 Minute Hero Announces 2014 Roster

Once again, 3 Minute Hero has eschewed conventional wisdom in fielding a small-market team. "This season we're going to focus on raw power, talent, charisma, and stunning good looks," said band spokeswoman and award-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. She added, "That should provide results more favorable to the band's loyal fan base than when the band's focus was centered more on the consumption of off-brand snack foods and the non-stop viewing of Animal Planet shows." Regardless, fans will know how this strategy is working by the All-Star break.

1. Bryce Blilie - trumpet - ss

2. Dave Kittelson - bass - 2b

3. Jay Kalk - guitar/vox - c

4. Jonathon TeBeest - drums - rf

5. Eric Johnson - trombone - 1b

6. Al "Ice" Berg - keys - lf

7. Jeff Nelson - 2nd trombone/ld.vox - cf

8. Paul Gronert - sax - 3b

note: 3 Minute Hero has no pitchers. Opposing teams are encouraged to bring their own tee.





Thanks Fargo!


This past Saturday, we returned to play Fargo for the first time in a long time. How long? Let's just say that if I had actually kept my vow to not trim my fingernails until I played music in Fargo again, this guy would be in second place.


Hot. We had a great time and it was ridiculous fun to see so many of you in the same place after so long. Thanks for making the trip out. Thanks to the good people at Dempsey's/The Aquarium, Chris Hennen, Raul Gomez at the High Plains Reader, John Lamb of INFORUM, and the Blilies for the most heavenly brunch in the history of brunches. I ate a serving of cheesy potatoes and thought I saw the face of God, but it was just Paul.

Yours, as always,



Works in Progress #10: 800 LB Gorilla (Parts 1 & 2)

Meow kitty!

After singing through the bridge of this song a couple of times last night in practice, Jay asked just exactly what the hell this was about and I launched into an overly descriptive account of a dream I had when I was all of 15. I won't get into details, but I had stayed up late watching "Planet of the Apes" and the movie's parting imagery inspired my subconscious to dream lascivious dreams of an alarmingly come-hither, human-sized Statue of Liberty. This was a vivid memory from a turbulent age -- an age when I came to realize that most of the things I loathed in other people I could conveniently find located squarely in my own thoughts and deeds. That's what this song is about for me: trying to deal with other people's shortcomings while becoming painfully aware of my own -- hating somebody else's behaviors while realizing that I was beginning to adopt those same behaviors because, well, they were effective. Stomping around like an 800 pound gorilla, for instance.

But yes, it's also about how the Statue of Liberty is a woman. With needs.

I've said too much.


"Responsible. Just the sound of the word is old hat --

Crazy as a camper full of cats

Crackling with sound and furry

Pounding home that I should scurry.

I know the smell of fear

and smells just like gin and spaghetti.

Good God I'm more than ready

To say as he says and do as he does.

And I'd dearly love to be anywhere but here --

Just drive and drive, but never have to steer.

Run away. Far away.

You don't know where I would fly:

Off the handle?

Out to the zoo?

Mr. Movies is showing me what I can do.


I stomp around, I stomp around, I stomp around.

Like an 800 pound gorilla.

I stomp around, I stomp around, I stomp around.

Like I own the town.

Like I'll split the ground.

Like an 800 pound gorilla.


Sing song -- King Kong -- damn dirty apes.

Show me the shoreline; I'll show you the shapes:

The copper crown of liberty's shade,

The languid eyes, the serious gaze

Above the fabric dripping down like honey from above,

More than money do I love

That she is French, lives in New York,

Always wears sandals, and carries a torch.


I stomp around, I stomp around, I stomp around.

Like an 800 pound gorilla.

I stomp around, I stomp around, I stomp around.

Like I own the town.

Like I'll split the ground.

Like an 800 pound gorilla."


All of this particular material is copyrighted ©2013 Jeff Nelson.



Jason Hoffman knows you left your back door open

Fine Line 1999. Jason Hoffman the original bass player for 3 Minute Hero sings a tune originally written by The Scofflaws. Back Door.

In the beginning of the tune we hear the horns making karate noises as they jump into various poses.




Here are a couple photos taken at a ska fest we played in Moorhead with The Scofflaws back in 1998.


Richard "Sammy" Brooks and Jeff



Buford O’Sullivan and Jeff


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By golly it sure looks like The Head has possessed this here vee-hickel.

















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From the dusty library archives of what is now Minnesota State University Moorhead – A review of Bingo

Oh sweet 16 years ago...

Advocate April 3 1997

The Advocate - Moorhead State University newspaper from April 3 1997

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Who remembers Jonathon when he was a kitty?



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Thanks Captain’s!

Well another installment in the continuing story of Captains Getaway gigs is in the books. This year we only played on Saturday night but the place was packed, probably due to the rain outside and no cover to get in, but we'd like to think there were at least 9 people there because they had heard of us before.

On Friday night the "Church of Cash", a Johnny Cash cover band featuring our own Jayder and JT (and EX bass player DAN), rocked out Captains and only had requests to play Folsom Prison Blues 8 times - a good night. I'm still waiting for a reggae version of "Hurt".

Saturday afternoon found Jay, Eric and myself and our respective women on the lake in a rented boat. There was no way I was going to 'Boji with my Captains uniform in tow and not go for a boat ride. Upon discovering a secret cove where all the cool kids hung out, the transmission of our gallant ship of the line refused to engage any of the gears that would make us go forward. With no sail or oars to speak of, First mate Johnson handedly steered the boat backwards out of harms way (harms way consisting of grown men wearing purple body suits as pictured here). I'm sure he'll make someone an excellent First Officer someday.

With no major show hiccups and 3x the volcanoes, we gave Dave his first (and last?) monkey bump in a newly re-finished band house. We instituted and documented "Shart week" and enjoyed each others company talking about the old days, and puke stories, and coors and miller lite.

Who knows what next year will bring? Volcanoes probably.

B Rizzo

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