Do You Remember?

Husker-Du-640x400

Only angels have wings, Girl.  And poets have all the words.  The earth belongs to the two of us and the sky belongs to birds. – Grant Hart

I wasn’t planning on posting anything today, but a few moments ago, I read an article that saddened me deeply.  Grant Hart, former drummer and vocalist for 1980s powerhouse Hüsker Dü died at the age of 59.  For those who are unfamiliar, Hüsker Dü embodied everything that was magical about college radio in the formative decade of my teens.

The trio from Minneapolis began as a hardcore act, playing furious songs at breakneck speed.  With their double disc magnum opus Zen Arcade, they cemented themselves as one of the defining acts in the evolution of punk rock, alternative, grunge, emo, hardcore and melodic hard rock.  With each passing release, they honed their sound into one that was completely their own.  It’s not a stretch to say that without the trailblazing influence of Hüsker Dü , the grunge explosion of the 90s spearheaded by Nirvana would never have occurred.

I saw Hüsker Dü live several times, including their final NYC show at the Ritz that was so cathartic I lost a shoe in the mosh pit and had to wander around Manhattan in a ripped T-shirt and a dirty sock while waiting to catch the subway back to Penn Station.  Guitarist and vocalist Bob Mould had a strange stage presence, with his guitar slung low below his torso of considerable girth causing him to lurch about the stage as he filled the club with the delicious sounds of his searing buzzsaw guitar.  Bassist Greg Norton would have been a rather unassuming presence if not for his anachronistic handlebar mustache.  But Grant had perhaps the most unique presence among them.  His long unwashed hair and grease-stained T-shirt coupled with the fact that he hammered away on the double-bass with filthy bare feet made him look like the world’s greatest homeless drummer.  Though Mould’s songwriting contributions exceeded Hart’s by a ratio of about 10 to 1, the songs Grant wrote were always among their most memorable.

Rest in peace, Grant.  Thanks for providing the coolest soundtrack imaginable to my teen years and beyond.

 

24 thoughts on “Do You Remember?

    1. Yeah, the grim reaper’s been rather merciless on rock musicians for the past several years. Bowie, Lemmy, Prince, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, etc., etc.. But this one hits me a little harder just due to the fact that I considered bands like Husker Du to be composed of people who were my peers. As they get older and older, so do I.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I had never heard of them, and had never heard that music. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Mary Tyler Moore theme song remake, and fun-times-in-the-bands-life video clips, were fabulous!

    59 is so damn young. Was his cause of death revealed?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently, it was cancer. I’m glad you liked what I chose as an homage — although “Makes No Sense At All” is actually a Bob Mould-penned (and sung) track, I thought it was a good choice to give people an idea of what they sounded like. They had something approaching a “hit” on their final album — meaning that MTV actually deigned to play it a couple of times — called “Could You Be The One”. That one might be somewhat familiar to people who grew up with MTV.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I showed it to Mrs C, because singing Mary Tyler Moore out loud for the rest of the morning got it stuck in her head. 😈

        She recognized the band members but not the actual song, as you say. She’s much better at MTV than I am. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Joan Jett does an excellent cover of “Love Is All Around”, too. I’m pretty sure the only reason Husker Du chose to cover it was because they were from Minneapolis and the Mary Tyler Moore Show was set in that city.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s