Regrets? Yeah there’s a few. Not going to see Grant Hart last year is one of them, although the day of his Sydney gig at Black Wire Records on that particular tour I was at the bucks show of a groom to whom I was best man so I’ve made my peace with it. Over the years I have arrived at the place where I believe The Twin Cities could very well just be my Mecca. Between Prince, The Replacements, Soul Asylum and the rest of the Twin Tone Records label I could survive with these on my desert island iPod just fine. There is also a band called Husker Du that hold a rather large place in that collection of dessert island discs.
My Uncle Simon used to have this ratty old bean bag. In the late 80’s we would visit my Grandma’s house and as we gathered in the lounge room for whatever family function was taking place the adults took up the all the chairs, while the kids got the floor. Simon being stuck somewhere in between had his bag. It was covered in texta tags scrawled into the canvas coloured material with whatever rural teenage kids were into in the late 80s. Knowing him there was probably some Dirt Bike logos and slang and I could probably even rattle off some bands that I know he was into like The The, Talking Heads and Stone Roses, but buggered if I don’t distinctly remember that Husker Du logo. It’s funny how certain things just stay with you. My partner and work colleagues will assure you that on any given day my recall is best described as shit. I can’t remember promising to fix the leaking tap in the bathroom last week, but you bet your ass I remember asking my Uncle Simon what Husker Du was 30 years ago. He didn’t know. Some band. My grandparents ran a holiday farm stay just outside of Willow Tree and were host to hundreds of ex pats from all over the world. At best guess it was one of them that had left it there.
I will admit that it’s Bob that I personally draw most inspiration from, possibly only for my alignment with his writing post Husker Du, but there is no denying that Grant Hart has had an equal part in creating some of my most treasured pieces of music. Beyond the abrasive production of Husker Du records is this perfect sense of melody and song-writing and Grant and Bob’s songs are undoubtedly some sort of catalyst for the melodic punk and rock the followed on into the 90’s. Bands like Green Day and Foo Fighters I’m sure will attest to this. Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely Dianne, Green Eyes, Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill. Grant’s songs hit and stick hard.
Any rate, as I’ve said in these things before, far more qualified blokes than me will have their say on Grant Hart, but I just wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to a bit of an underdog. I’ll probably have more to say when it’s time for Bob to leave, but geez man… Thanks for the songs. Thanks for those song-writing lessons and I’m so sorry I stayed away from your own records for so long. My tax return is due in next week, maybe I’ll spoil myself and finally buy that expensive little Reflex Statues 7″ I’ve been baulking at all these years in your honour. Rest easy mate. Hope it’s one long celebrated summer for you.
Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely