Hill, Jeffrey R. Passed away peacefully early Sunday morning May 3rd. He called the beautiful village of Marine on St. Croix home. Born in 1951 his name is forever linked with the booming Twin Cities rock music scene of the 60's, 70's and 80's. He was a remarkable musician who played guitar in The Youngsters, The Underbeats and many other bands. In 1972 he co-founded the legendary Knut-Koupée Music Store located in Uptown at 28th and Hennepin. The store quickly became a magnetic gathering place for musicians. Jeff provided the authenticity and enthusiasm to help power a Minneapolis music scene that continues to achieve international acclaim. From The Hypstrz to Prince and The Time, from The Suicide Commandos to The Canoise. The list could go on and on. Jeff and the "Knut" were there to help make dreams come true. His passion and generosity not only connected musicians to the instruments they needed, but more importantly connected people to each other. Jeff left the Cities for California in 1983 returning 20 years later to the delight of his many acquaintances. Additionally Jeff has remained committed to improving the welfare of animals and advocated for several animal rescue organizations during his life. His home offered sanctuary to many animals over the years. (Shout-out to Becky and Sweedy). Whether cruising to band gigs in his 1963 split-window Corvette or riding the back roads of small town Minnesota on a Velocette motorcycle Jeff had a style all his own. He had the ability to deal with rock stars, serious collectors and the kid in high school who skipped class to hang out at the store, who now plays in Guns and Roses. Jeff's parents Ann and William Hill live in Bayside, Wisconsin. His sister Nanciann Feeney with husband John and Jeff's two very special nieces Livvy and Blythe live in Boulder, Colorado and his brother David in Ribera, New Mexico. He was surrounded by close friends and family these last few months. We continue to celebrate his remarkable zest for life. To know Jeff was to know his love and graciousness. He was the real thing and will be missed by all. Not surprisingly he retained his irrepressible humor and creative hi-jinx to the very end. A public celebration and tribute to Jeff is planned for the Fine Line, downtown Minneapolis on June 3rd. Doors at 6pm.
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.
Published in Star Tribune on May 10, 2009.