On the Fly: Lori Barbero
Lori Barbero is Minnesota’s Rock n’ Roll Princess. A raw and gritty drummer, she cofounded the legendary Minneapolis punk-rock band Babes in Toyland—the seminal all-girl group that paved the way in the 1990s for other important female rock acts: Bikini Kill, Hole, and L7 to name a few.
Like all fairy tale princesses, Barbero has had quite an adventurous journey. She moved to Austin, Texas, to start a record label (the late Spanish Fly Records), bartended, and worked as a DJ. Now back in Minneapolis, she’s poised to begin the next chapter. After a 12-year hiatus, Barbero and her two Babes bandmates, Maureen Herman and Kat Bjelland, have reunited with a new album and a world tour.
Robyne Robinson, arts and culture director for the Airport Foundation MSP, recently caught up with Barbero preflight (she and the Babes are off to the United Kingdom and Europe later this month) to get her take on music, Minnesota, and travel. Here’s what they drummed up.
RR: What are your favorite Minnesota music haunts?
LB: I used to work at the Longhorn Bar, a punk-rock club downtown Minneapolis on 5th Street, right off of Hennepin Avenue. I would go between there and Uncle Sam’s, which is now First Avenue, every single night in the early 1980s. These days I love Turf Club, the Hexagon, Triple Rock Social Club, 7th St. Entry and, of course, First Avenue.
Love you forever, Lori. Knock ‘em dead in Europe!