Suicide Commandos Smithsonian Procures Leather Jacket


Punk rock origin stories typically focus on New York and London, so how did a jacket from Minneapolis, worn by Suicide Squad guitarist Chris Osgood, get the attention of John Troutman, the curator of American music from the Smithsonian?

“One element that we loved so much about the history of the Commandos is that it talks about some of the early turmoil of the punk movement inside the country,” says Troutman, who thinks the genre may have been more transformative in local scenes and communities than in large metropolises.

Initially, Osgood was gifting old guitars from the days of the trio’s touring days, but the discussion turned to stage equipment after Troutman spotted Osgood’s Perfecto-style black jacket, a gift his parents bought. in 1977 to Berman Buckskin (which became Wilsons Leather in the 1980s).

“Wearing jackets signals shared values ​​and a spirit within a national network of local musical stages, crossed by groups and scenographers,” explains Troutman.

Now part of the collection of the National Museum of American History, the inhabited jacket was Osgood’s constant companion on Commando tours. He even sported it while performing at legendary Twin Cities venues (like Jay’s Longhorn Bar — AKA “The Longhorn”) during the band’s heyday.

“This jacket has been my exoskeleton for some of the funniest and most meaningful chapters of my life,” says Osgood.

Madeline Nachbar

As the trend and style editor of Mpls.St. Paul magazine, Madeline Nachbar draws on her passion for travel, fashion and the arts to keep pace with the next big trends, and excels at creating visually compelling content that inspires.

Read more about Madeline Nachbar

September 23, 2021



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