Grant Hart, drummer and co-singer for the influential Minneapolis post-punk trio Hüsker Dü, has died. Hart was 56 and had been battling cancer.
Hart, along with bandmates Bob Mould and Greg Norton, changed the lexicon of rock music with their razor-sharp guitar sound and thoughtful lyrics over the course of six incredible albums. from 1983’s Everything Falls Apart to 1987’s Warehouse: Songs and Stories. Their 1984 double-album Zen Arcade is their career-defining moment. Hart co-wrote classics including “The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill” and “Turn on the News.”
After Hüsker Dü broke up in 1988, Hart formed the alternative rock trio Nova Mob. He moved from behind the drum kit to playing guitar and singing. He dissolved the band in 1997 to focus on a solo career.
I interviewed Hart not long after Nova Mob released one of their albums. He was enjoying sobriety but seemed torn between his feelings about Hüsker Dü’s disbandment and moving on. I recall him taking a few shots at Bob Mould during the interview.
One of my favorite songs Hart released is the title track of 1988’s 2541 EP. The title is taken from 2541 Nicollet Avenue, the address of his former band’s rehearsal space and record label (Twin Tone), where the members had at one time lived. “2541” was later covered by Marshall Cranshaw and the Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster.