Hüsker Dü Historic Sites

The Church, St. Paul MN

This desanctified church at 5th St E & Mendota in St. Paul was the site where Hüsker Dü in 1983 hung out and worked up the tracks for their groundbreaking Zen Arcade double album. A remnant of those rehearsals survives in the accidental recording described here.

Michael Azerrad writes in Our Band Could Be Your Life:
Hüsker Dü spent the entire summer of '83 preparing material for the next album, rehearsing in a former church in St. Paul where Hart lived, along with a bunch of young drifters, runaways, and musicians. Everyone at the church was enjoying the particularly pure LSD that was going around. [...]

Now approaching peak form, the band would jam for hours, brainstorming music and lyrics. It may have seemed like more Hüsker Dü bravado, but the band sensed the next album was going to be a milestone. "It was a coming-of-age work and we knew it when we were writing it," says Mould. "It was like, this is going to change everything because it's that good."

According to Grant, the site later became a more formal facility catering to troubled and disadvantaged young people. It's not clear how the place was being used when these photos were taken in May 2008, but it's evidently been well maintained.

Top photo was shot from across 5th Street. Window detail, stained glass still visible, at right.

Photos: plh

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