I remember being in high school my senior year, and there was a shitty little apartment that several of my friends would hang out at. The guy who lived there was in his 20s and would buy us booze and we’d smoke weed there. He was a good guy, even though that’s not the best influence out there. He was very philosophical and I remember many conversations with him from religion to music to preparing ramen.
I remember one morning waking up on his floor, pretty hung over from the night before and thumbing through some of his vinyl. One record caught my eye Hüsker Dü’s Flip Your Wig. I remember him saying – “You don’t know Hüsker Dü? Well, we need to listen to this now”
At that time, I was super into British post-punk bands. Hüsker Dü had a sound that was really new to me. Powerful and melodic, driving yet oddly gentle. That moment on the floor in the living room was one of those musical pivot points. I have a handful of these moments, and every time looking back, I remember how important that point was for me.
This morning I was bummed to hear that Grant Hart lost his battle with cancer. Bob Mould posted about it this morning and it really touched me.. and wanted to share.
It was the Fall of 1978. I was attending Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. One block from my dormitory was a tiny store called Cheapo Records. There was a PA system set up near the front door blaring punk rock. I went inside and ended up hanging out with the only person in the shop. His name was Grant Hart.
The next nine years of my life was spent side-by-side with Grant. We made amazing music together. We (almost) always agreed on how to present our collective work to the world. When we fought about the details, it was because we both cared. The band was our life. It was an amazing decade.
We stopped working together in January 1988. We went on to solo careers, fronting our own bands, finding different ways to tell our individual stories. We stayed in contact over the next 29 years — sometimes peaceful, sometimes difficult, sometimes through go-betweens. For better or worse, that’s how it was, and occasionally that’s what it is when two people care deeply about everything they built together.
The tragic news of Grant’s passing was not unexpected to me. My deepest condolences and thoughts to Grant’s family, friends, and fans around the world.
Grant Hart was a gifted visual artist, a wonderful story teller, and a frighteningly talented musician. Everyone touched by his spirit will always remember.
Godspeed, Grant. I miss you. Be with the angels.