I was stoked when I heard about The Current’s Husker Dü documentary podcast—and then totally forgot about it. Ironic considering the title of the series. Although, it might be more accurate to say that I wasn’t ready to listen.
“Dü You Remember?” includes 5 episodes that originally coincided with the release of the excellent Savage Young Dü box set from Numero Group. Unfortunately, it also served as a heart-felt farewell to talented songwriter/drummer/artist Grant Hart who died in September of last year—a month before the release. So as excited as I was about listening to the podcast, I just couldn’t get myself to dive in. That all changed when the algorithm gods gave me a much-needed kick in the ass last week. The timing was perfect.
I recently played on two songs for a friend’s new album, the first recordings I’ve done in a few years. It got me thinking about my long relationship with drumming and the people who inspired me along the way. The long list includes everybody from John Bonham, Charlie Watts and Keith Moon to Bun E. Carlos, D.J. Bonebrake and Alan Myers. And, of course, Grant Hart. I’ve long found it hard to describe Hart’s drumming, but I’ve never heard another drummer play with the same combination of intensity, style and outright musicality. He was also one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation, right up there with his bandmate Bob Mould.
There are many things I loved about the “Dü You Remember?” series. Getting the perspective of all three members —including enigmatic bassist, Greg Norton—tops the list. I also really liked the focus on the band’s blue collar roots, earliest tours, and relationship with legendary west coast punk label, SST Records. And the color commentary and high praise from Henry Rollins and Jello Biafra really brought the nascent 80s hardcore scene into sharp focus, even as they discuss how Husker Dü ultimately evolved out of it.
I only saw Husker Dü once, while they unraveled in support of the double album Warehouse: Songs and Stories. It was the culmination of a love affair that began with Metal Circus and New Day Rising for me. I’ve always thought of that show at the Variety Arts Center in downtown Los Angeles as a badge of honor. So it’s interesting to think that I was bouncing off the walls while the band was falling apart. But then again—everything does, right?
Whether you’re an old fan or a new fan, “Dü You Remember?” is a great audio document about one of the most influential bands of the 80s. If you were like me and put off listening, don’t—it’s worth every minute of your time and will only reaffirm the power, influence and legacy of Husker Dü.
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S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, GRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.