I was working at Cheapo Records in St Paul,
Minnesota and Bob [Mould] was going to school down the street [at
Macalester College] when he stopped in. He had the independent records that
you couldn't find in Minnesota and I began hipping him to things that I had.
Bob's retention was remarkable. He could listen to a record once or twice and
play along with it the third time. He was a very analytical player in that
respect. Greg [Norton, bass] was working in the same chain of record stores.
At my first meeting with him I was pissed off. I was supposed to be the next
person hired at this chain, and then he was hired. But from the point where
we started working with each other, we hit it off well.
Greg didn't drive, so I was giving him rides from work or we were ging out to
shows and parties. Before the band formed, Greg and I were making up stupid
lyrics to the song Psycho Killer. Instead of "Qu'est que c'est," Greg
interjected "Hüsker dü!" [Swedish1
for "Do you remember?" and also the title of a TV show with old people
singing folk songs]. It was a piss-in-your-pants laugh.
A fellow booking another band that broke up had these engagements that he
wanted to exploit by putting together a quick jam band. He wanted to play
keyboards, so he borrowed my Farfisa. I could play the drums so we had two
bases covered. Greg
and I really didn't have to talk Bob into it. It was
only two nights. We
weren't looking for anybody long-term. Personalities were too different, but
it was "Gig in two weeks!" We played covers everything from Elvis
Costello to the Buzzcocks, some rockabilly, a few Doors songs that the
keyboardist2 wanted to play. He wasn't on the
same wavelength. We had a few practices when this guy couldn't come and
enjoyed it more than when he could.
had really made a difference in my performance. My job description didn't say
anything about what was going on with my bloodstream [news reports at the time
suggested Grant was asked to leave Hüsker Dü on account of his
heroin use]. Everybody in the band had their own problems.
Greg and I talk to each other every couple of weeks. Bob writes
scripts now, for professional wrestling3
he's been casting real people as heroes or heels for years. A month
ago, we received an offer from him and his attorneys to buy Hüsker
Dü.4 If I can't put myself in the mindset
that it's something that can be bought and sold, there's a lot of stuff
regarding his motivation that I won't be able to understand. Bob has plans
and he rarely shares them.
Interview by Joe Silva