The music world mourns the loss of another musician gone too soon as Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart dies at the age of 56. Variety confirms the death of the drummer/singer/songwriter who had been battling cancer. Around 2 am ET, the group published a photo of Hart without text on their Facebook page.
“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,” Hart explains.
“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.”
Hart, Mould and bassist Greg Norton formed Hüsker Dü in Minneapolis in 1979 and became one of punk rock’s most powerful forces throughout the 1980s when they signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. They split at the peak of their popularity in 1988, but Mould went on to become a solo artist and led the group Sugar for a short time. Hart began a solo career with the album Intolerance, and then formed the band Nova Mob before resuming his solo career again in 1998.
Hart spoke to us exclusively in 2013 about the release of his album The Argument and how William S. Burroughs’ “Paradise Lost” “served as a motivational force as well as an inspiration” to the album.
“The size of Paradise Lost is so immense that a quadruple album would not have been enough,” he says. “Everything in The Argument takes place in the Milton version, but I could not possibly include everything from Paradise Lost. First I deleted all of the religion.”
The news of Hart’s death comes as The Numero Group announced the release of Savage Young Dü, a new deluxe box set chronicling the extraordinary early years of Hüsker Dü on Friday, November 10th. The multi-disc set compiles 69 tracks – 47 of them previously unreleased – remastered from the original analog demos, board tapes, and session masters. The anthology is accompanied by a hardbound book highlighted by an epic history of Hüsker Dü, penned with full participation from founding members Hart, Norton and Mould, as well as 40 never-before seen photos, a remarkable collection of rare flyers, and detailed sessionography.