Husker Du drummer and Nova Mob singer was 54
Every few months, I’ll post a message on social media that ends with “Oh God Oh God Oh God, You gotta keep hangin on.”
Those words were written by Grant Hart, who died last night in a Minnesota Hospital from complications from liver cancer and Hepatitis C.
Husker Du meant so much to me during a critical coming-of-age period and no song got across their raw passion and spirit better than Keep Hangin On. My high school punk band Circles covered that song and its drummer John Packel and I play it to this day. Grant wrote tons of other great ones, too, including Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill and Books About UFOs and their near-hit Don’t Want to Know if You Are Lonely, used to wonderful effect in the movie Adventureland.
Grant Hart was a troubled guy. If you read Bob Mould’s terrific memoir, See A Little Light, you know that, but I knew it a little bit firsthand, as well. Grant would sometimes come see Green in Minneapolis, especially at the Uptown, and during the party phase after the show at someone’s apartment, he was always … not in great shape.
When the Huskers were starting to blow up, they gave Green a prized opening slot at the Riviera in 1987. It was like The Who had called. I talked to Grant in the dressing room before the show and told him how nervous I was and he told me to relax, pop music is all about having fun. The world was a better place with Grant Hart in it and I will honor him today by blaring his music, these songs that are his lasting legacy.