For years, Hüsker Dü fans have desperately wanted a reunion. Much like fellow Minneapolis punks The Replacements, the Hüskers became hugely influential, and all too often to musicians who never actually got to see them live. Obviously, for many Replacements fans, that dream eventually came true, but even at a time when Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson were on the road bringing maximum nostalgia, each of the Hüsker Dü members dismissed any chance of a reunion.
In a 2013 interview, drummer vocalist Grant Hart said of such a plan: “Who needs it? You’d be seeing guys who never had a union having a reunion.” Bob Mould, the bands vocalist/guitarist, who later went on to form Sugar and achieve a greater success was particularly critical of his ex-bandmates, even positively savage, in his 2013 autobiography ‘See a Little Light’.
It would seem that Hüsker Dü would be one of the least likely bands to regroup and do the nostalgia trip. Even Dave Grohl’s best attempts at getting Mould, Hart and bassist Greg Norton together was met with a flat refusal, and as we all know, Grohl is the most genial man in rock music – almost everyone wants to please him. Hüsker Dü left us a great legacy of recorded work, why should they go back and play live?
…And then in October 2015, the internet rumour mill went into overdrive. For the first time ever, the world had an official Hüsker Dü website. Not only that, but the band were on civil terms. Could this be the start of something big? As much as fans would love it to be so, it still seems unlikely. This is most likely a business arrangement. For years, the Hüsker Dü catalogue has been in disarray, their SST recordings not always available and never easy to find. All Hüsker Dü t-shirts have been unlicenced products. In an age where so many bands have been given the remastered/expanded/deluxe treatment, the Hüskers albums are still as they originally appeared on CD – if available at all – all treble, no extras, no frills.
A recent statement from Norton suggests they’ve been in talks with the Meat Puppets manager to “help them get a foothold in the business”. There’s that word again – business.
This further suggests a sorting out of affairs, of finances and to get the Hüsker Dü house in order. Time, of course, will tell…
The world would be a better place for a smartened Hüsker Dü catalogue: maybe a deluxe box set of ‘New Day Rising’, ‘Flip Your Wig’ complete with unreleased live material, a long overdue official DVD issue of ‘Live at Camden Palace’… That’s most likely what this is about. If there are live shows, all the better of course, but to pin all your hopes on such things seems futile.