Husker Du Don’t Want To Know If You’re Lonely
This week’s Thursday’s Tunes are posted with a deep sense of loss.
Apparently Grant Hart from Husker Du has died.
I’m so sad. I never met the man, yet his music touched me in so many ways at different times of my life. Husker Du were my pre-Nirvana Nirvana. Lots of the things that I grew to love in R.E.M, the Replacements and the Jesus and Mary Chain struck me first with Husker Du.
As Michael Heaney and Michael Connerty noted, knowing about Husker Du in mid-1980s Dublin was like tapping into a wild and free American underground full of exciting music, possibilities and unlimited potential.
There was always a hint of hearbreak about Husker Du and Grant Hart’s later music. I know of few sadder, more honest, songs that his 2541.
Here are some memories of what Grant Hart meant to the small Dublin DIY independent music scene and some videos.
Michael Connerty: Such prolific output over those five or so years and so much of it was total dynamite. Before I had any of their records I had this taped off John Peel and must have listened to it about a thousand times!
It’s hard to get going today with the full volume Husker Du soundtrack. One of their unique qualities was their ability to convey intensity, youthful aggression and confusion at the same time as sweetness, melancholy and romance – absolutely perfect for that time of my life.
Michael recalled a night when as a DJ at the Cathedral Club he played Husker Du’s Songs About UFOs. Michael Heaney was one of the only people to dance!
Michael Heaney: I remember that night! I also recall Stan Erraught [Stars of Heaven] remarking on my Huskers badge after some Stars of Heaven gig – it was the first time I ever spoke to him. Back then, knowing bands like Husker Du was almost like a password to a secret, exciting world of music, shared only by a few fellow freaks. Those memories are all bound up with my love of the band. Poor old Grant
Husker Du Makes No Sense At All
Husker Du Could You Be The One
Husker Du Interview/Retrospective
Grant Hart 2541
Green Day Don’t Want To Know If You’re Lonely [Husker Do cover]
3 thoughts on “Thursday’s Tunes…in memory of Grant Hart”
Grant’s death reminded me that Husker Dü are one of the bands that are buried somewhere as a reference every time I listen to music. They were both hardcore punk, whatever that meant by the mid-eighties, and pop. I’ve always loved bands that have a tension between POP and ‘NOTPOP’, whatever that may mean. Their sound was the first thing that I fell for, but it was the songs that kept me coming back. They weren’t just ‘authentic’, they were the real thing. Having ‘got’ New Day Rising I went back to Zen Arcade, Land Speed Record and Metal Circus and eagerly anticipated each of the following albums, not that there was any time for anticipation as they seemed to come out in a heady rush.
They pre-empted The Pixies and Nirvana. They are one of the bands I most regret not seeing live but they never came to Dublin and travelling to London for gigs was a thing, but a very rare one. Husker Dü in McGonagles … that would have been a night!
There are many, many great songs in their oeuvre but the one I return to most is probably Grant Hart’s Terms of Psychic Warfare from New Day Rising, a song that seems to encapsulate excitement and regret and to address the split between being true and selling out, whatever that means. You just know what it is when you see it. – They never did (although they may have tried!).
Seamus, thanks for posting this. I felt the same…..the band I really loved and wanted to see…..but they just never came to Ireland.
During my time in Oatlands (1985-1990) one of my school mates used to wear a leather jacket with the words HUSKER DU (plus umlauts) emblazoned on the back of it in white. Being the inquisitive sort, I endeavoured to find out about this American band. Years later I am in HMV in Grafton St and I pick up a copy of CANDY APPLE GREY for £5. A constant presence among the US Hardcore fraternity and a hugely influential band. Grant Hart RIP.