Husker Du - LogoHusker Du - DU

Husker Du from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 1983

Formed: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Bob Mould - guitar, vocals
Greg Norton - bass, vocals
Grant Hart - drums, vocals


To say that the musical influence of Husker Dü is pervasive and far-reaching is cliche, but true. Many of today's "alternative" or "indie" bands owe more than a passing debt to this three-piece powerhouse. The essence and foundation of Husker's influence was their relentless do-it-yourself ethic, which began with their foundation of their own Reflex Records in 1980 and continued until their dissolution.

Curiously, Husker Dü seemingly defined the punk ethos circa 1980-83 without necessarily embracing or endorsing it. While many musical peers and those in the press sported political slogans as communication, Husker power-communicated below the surface - their songs asked real questions, explored true feelings.

In the bands formative years, they were an almost angelic, polite, and- dare I say? - "proper" pop unit. God, the first time I saw them, Bob Mould was wearing a tie. That musical journey began in the dimly lit confines of J.'s Longhorn Bar in late 1979. The Longhorn was a daytime steakhouse, serving up local punk and new wave in the evenings. On the advice of Chris Osgood (a local legend himself as a founding member of punk pioneers - The Suicide Commandos), I had come to see this relatively new band with the funny Scandinavian name. Osgood had raved about his rising guitar student, Bob Mould.

As I rounded the corner into the music room and saw them for the first time, they were bashing out a Johnny Thunders cover. The originals that followed, delivered with authority and conviction, simply blew me away. From that moment on, I was hooked. Pulse racing, I moved in closer. I noticed that they didn't talk much. They played a tune, thanked the audience, and moved right on - a tradition they would take to ridiculous extreme on the live album Land Speed Record. A "mere" three-member group, there was nothing and no one for them to hide behind as they bared their thoughts and talents.

GUNS AT MY SCHOOLHusker Dü Circle Logo

We've got guns at my school
You've got guns at your school
Guns and knives/taking lives
Fuck you!

Every time it's a different story
When they come to our territory
Is it fun or race relations?

Guns at my school
Think that's cool?
You like violence?
Think it makes sense?
(Fuck, no).


Nine digit number
For every living soul
That is all they talk about
At Data Control
They know everything about you
Keeping secrets is too hard
Your life is all recorded for you
In holes punched in computer cards

Data Control (digital readout)
Data Control (perforated feedout)
Data Control (microfilm files)
Data Control (1984 style)

A multinational corporation
A stockholder's dream
A nightmare of diversity
A defence system so supreme
Too technical to talk about
Too complex for layman's brains
It's enough to make you paranoid
Or drive you crazy losers sane

The long-out-of-print debut single, "Statues/Amusement," was recorded in 1980 and released on Reflex Records in January 1981. In contrast to the hard-core element that was to emerge later, these two songs showcased the band's talents amid slower tempos and more understandable lyrics. A remix of Grant Harts "Statues"" debuts here, clocking in at an amazing 8:42. The original release was edited to conform to the running time restrictions of the 7" format. Also making its debut is Greg Norton's "Lets Go Die," a previously unreleased studio recording from the statues session. A live version appeared on Land Speed Record.


You get all pissed off and hang around with you so called friends
what is all about
do everything you've got to do
tell me tell me tell me do
are you different are you new?
no you're just a statue
You hang around
Surround yourself beautiful faces
think everybodys


I'm not easily amused
And I'm not easily amazed
Don't you do something different?
And I wont even be fazed.
Yeah got you're letter
Was it an invitation?
You created this situation
You're my friend, my dear friend
got your little project
wanna be that project?
I'm not easily amused by you
Not easily amazed
Don't you do something different?
Won't even beat me
Yeah got you're letter
Was it an invitation?
You created this situation

The year 1981 provided another milestone, the bands now-historic "Children's Crusade Tour," which brought them to the attention of The Minutemen's New Alliance Records, SST Records, and, ultimately, the rest of the world. The much-sought-after In A Free Land single, released on New Alliance in 1982, is interesting for its shift to hard-core and the fact that it contains two of the few overtly "political" songs the band ever released: the title track and "M.I.C." (military industrial complex).

IN A FREE LANDHusker Dü - Flyer 1982

Government authorize education
(Don't mean a thing)
They'll teach you what they want you to think
(Don't mean a thing)
Saturation of stars and stripes
(Don't mean a thing)
The only freedom worth fighting for is for what you think

Why bother spending time
Reading up on things
Everybody's an authority
In a free land
In a free land
In a free land



Time for a lottery, they got your number
Blood for fuel, and limbs for lumber
They just wanted more machines
For their modern war machine

M.I.C. Am I seeing it right?
M.I.C. Must be time to fight
M.I.C. The war machine is growing
M.I.C. I'm not fucking going


Husker Dü Flyer 1983

Everything Falls Apart proved that a punk record could be pretty and powerful all at once. In addition to standouts like the title track, 'Target', and 'Wheels', check out the lesser-known 'Gravity,' and you'll know what I mean.


It's only getting darker
it may be moving faster
well, it won't stop spinning
but how long will it remain?
This repulsive world
the crimes we all commit
it's not your gravity
it's not your gravity
the tension keeps building
the changes are rapid
we're through competing
is it better to retreat?
this repulsive world
the crimes we all commit
it's not your gravity
it's not your gravity

The Mould-Hart songwriting axis and Greg Norton's propelling bass may have provided Husker Dü with a more melodic, hook-laden sound than most of their punk or hard-core brethren, but lurking beneath those hooks was a sense of insecurity, desperation, even finality. Husker Dü took pop despair to new heights. It's been 10 years and more since these tracks were recorded, and they still raise the hair on the back of my neck.

Without demeaning their efforts since, Everything Falls Apart is the way Husker Dü were and never would be again. The power, excitement, and integrity of these songs remain undiminished. If only punk rock could be this god again. Everything Falls Apart And More perfectly and comprehensively captures the band's formative years and clearly hints at greater things to come. Even now, the power and diversity of these songs rival anything from today's alternative camp.


In 1983, Husker Dü became one of hardcore/alternative bands which - like the Minutemen, R.E.M., the Meat Puppets, and the Replacements - carved out a niche on college radio stations, as they made a move away from pure thrash with the critically acclaimed Metal Circus EP, released on 12" not only in the US, but the UK too. New, more intelligent songs such as 'It's Not Funny Anymore' and 'Diane' (both written and sung by Hart) allowed them to play muscular punk rock at a more normal pace, demonstrating how melodic they were. Other songs, like 'Deadly Skies' and 'Real World' (two Mould compositions), harked back to the furious political shenanigans of 'In A Free Land'.


ABOVE: Metal Circus: UK pressing on left, US one on right

DIANEHusker Dü - In The East 1983

Hey little girl, do you need a ride?
Well, I've got room in my wagon why don't you hop inside
We could cruise down Robert Street all night long
But I think I'll just rape you, and kill you instead

Diane, Diane, Diane

I heard there's a party down at Lake Cove
It would be so much easier if I drove
We could check it out, we could go and see
Oh won't you come and take a ride with me

We could lay in the weeds for a little while
I'll put your clothes in a nice, neat little pile
You're the cutest girl I've ever seen in my life
It's all over now, and with my knife


Deadly skies
Deadly night dreams
Well it's no lie
To say what I've seen
I've seen the end
Of the grand scheme
'Cause we all die
By our worst means

I like to protest, but I'm not sure what it's for
I guess I've got no control over the threat of nuclear war
I made a sign to carry to show that I really care
I've heard it does some good if the television people are there

Dead trees, dead leaves, deadly skies

Husker Du from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 1983 - Zen Arcade Publicity Shot

Husker Dü continued to get better and better. Their 1984 release, Zen Arcade, was their first LP for SST Records. A double set concept album about a boy who moves to the big city and gets fucked up on drugs, Zen Arcade was recorded in 45 hours had it all: completely insane punk blasts, psychedelic pop, backwards effects, the odd acoustic ditty, and the best fourteen-minute instrumental ever recorded. At the end of that year, the band released a scorchingly hot Byrds cover, Eight Miles High, as a stand alone single.

The blinding pace of recording and touring continued through 1984 and 1985, but problems were setting in. Rumour had it that Mould and Hart had alcohol and drug issues and weren't getting on. But in 1985, the group released two albums, New Day Rising was soon followed by Flip Your Wig which both received glowing reviews from critics and fans, and are often considered to be their finest efforts.

CELEBRATED SUMMER Husker Dü - Gig Flyer with The Feelies

Love and hate was in the air, like pollen from a flower
Somewhere in April time, they add another hour

I guess I'd better think up a way to spend my time
Just when I'm ready to sit inside, it's summer time
Should I go fishing or get a friend to hang around
It's back to summer, back to basics, hang around

Getting drunk out on the beach, or playing in a band
And getting out of school meant getting out of hand

Was this your celebrated summer? Was that your celebrated summer?

Then the sun disintegrates between a wall of clouds
I summer where I winter at, and no one is allowed there

Do you remember when the first snowfall fell
When summer barely had a snowball's chance in Hell?


he most intense of burning hells
Blasting expectations into smithereens
Never feeling normal, can't accept the truth
Resign myself to hating it, I hate it all

Can't say that I don't like it
Because the words won't come out right
All I feel is bitter, and it won't make it better

59 times the pain, I could never be like you
59 times the pain, I could never be like you
59 times the pain

Never figured out eating 3 meals a day
When the people sit in their broken-down homes
Look at the photos from different eras gone by
Shows the changes, and I hate them all

Don't want to live with myself
Can't live with what goes on
All I see is the humiliation
I wish it was gone


Women Husker Dü - Flyersewed the Stars and Stripes
And the men, they fought the wars
The children learned arithmetic
And everyone was poor

Young man was the hero of the day
Long long hours, short short pay

Lesson I learned in history book, now
It's not what they told me
Folk lore, folk lore, folk lore
Your momma never told you

Now the women scream for equal rights
Their man wants to have an affair
Children learn to hate the world
And no one seems to care

Now the kids play vids instead
Their heroes are living on Wonder Bread

Lesson I learned in history book, now
It's not what they told me
Folk lore, folk lore, folk lore
Your momma never told you that

Some things never change
Some things stay the same
Some things rearranged
One thing I know for sure, your heroes always die



Walking around with your head in the clouds
Makes no sense at all
Sell yourself short, but you're walking so tall
Makes no sense at all
Is it important? You're yelling so loud
Makes no sense at all
Walking around with your head in the clouds
Makes no sense at all
Makes no difference at all

I don't know why you want to tell me
When I'm right or when you're wrong
It's the same thing, in your mind, the only time
I'm right is when I play along

You concern yourself with evidence
It's evident to me
Well you say you've got the tiger by the tail
But I don't see these things that way

Husker Du from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 1983 - Flip Your Wig Publicity Shot

Hüsker Dü - 1985 - Group Photo


Well they divided up all the land
And we've got states and cities
Cities have their neighbourhoods
And more subdivisions

There's countries divided by walls
Oceans and latitudes
And longitude, longing to find out
Just what they're missing

They're lots of area codes
And nine digit zip codes
Secret decoder ring codes
Arteries, shopping nodes

We'll invent some new computers
Link up the global village
And get AP, UPI, and Reuters
To tell everybody the news

We'll be one happy neighbourhood
Spread out across the world
But who's going to stop that burglar
From breaking in my house
If he lives that far away

We'll be just like old friends
No means to your ends
The police state is to busy
And the neighbourhood's getting out of hand

It's not about my politics
Something happened way too quick
A bunch of men who played it sick
They divide, conquer

It's all here before your eyes
Safety is a big disguise
That hides among the other lies
They divide, conquer

Well I expect I won't be heard
Because my silence is assured
Never a discouraging word
They divide and conquer

They divide and conquer

Husker Du from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 1983

After this success, Husker Dü signed with Warner Brothers and in 1986 released Candy Apple Grey, which spawned a couple of explosive singles, Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely, a Bob Mould rocker that could have been on Flip Your Wig, and Sorry Somehow , a Hart composition that featured a very nice organ and some delightfully tortured vocals. The album itself also featured two astonishing ballads, the best of which was the heart-breaking miserablist epic 'Hardly Getting Over It'.


Twenty years ago
Saw a friend was walking by
And I stopped him on the street to ask him
How it went and all he did was cry

And I looked him in the face
But I couldn't see past his eyes
I asked him what the problem was
He says, here's your disguise

Now he's hardly getting over it
He's hardly getting used to getting by
Now he's hardly getting over it
He's hardly getting used to getting by, by

Old man lays
Down by the railroad tracks
Got no paper on his pocket
Got no paper on his back

And I asked him what the time was
He says, hit the road now, Jack
Went back to see him next week
He died of a heart attack and died away

Now he's hardly getting over it
He's hardly getting used to getting by
He's hardly getting over it
He's hardly getting used to getting by, by

Grandma, she was sick
And she is gonna die
And grandpa had a seizure
Moved into a hotel cell and died away

My parents
They just wonder
When they both are gonna die
And what'll I do when they die?

Well, I'm hardly getting over it
Hardly getting used to getting by
Hardly getting over it
Hardly getting used to getting by, by

Well, I'm hardly getting over it
Hardly getting by
Hardly getting over it
Hardly getting by

Hardly getting over it
Hardly getting by
Can hardly get it over it
Can hardly get by, by, goodbye

Hardly getting over it


Avalanche looms overhead
Airplane flies overhead
Important man sits by the window
Sucked out of the first class window
Images run by, thousand miles an hour
But the time seems far away
Folding clothes in a folding closet
Folding money in a resume

Time to let off some pressure
Time to let off some steam
All your notebooks get thrown away
And you start your diary clean
Crystal glass lined up in a row
Watched over by the G.I. Joes
Sugar in your coffee doesn't taste quite right
Feeling the effects for a hundred thousand nights

When civilization falls in its grave
Technology throws on the dirt
You realize the finest things in life
Are the ones that can never be hurt

Shatters your brain in a million tiny pieces
The sounds you hear aren't coming out right
You think it might be mystic, you think I might be cryptic
The crystal in your china case is breaking in a million tiny pieces


Time heals, time goes on and time really flies
Time hurts and time can cut you, cut you down to size
There's no need to touch you now, no, I'm doing fine
Life too can cut you and I've cut you out of mine

You're making me...
Sorry, sorry somehow
Sorry, sorry somehow

There's no need to talk to you, well to know what's on your mind
There's no need to see you either, no, I'm just being kind
You want me to beg forgiveness, tender an apology
It's not my fault and you're not getting one from me

Now I guess it's your decision now you decide
Take me to the cleaners baby, take me for a ride
Who ever cares for your affairs will sort it out for you
Send me a subpoena baby tell me what to do

I don't have to think about you, think about the past
Those days stand out in my mind and those days were the last
I know the time is coming and I'm waiting for the day
I'd give you everything in the world just to get it out of the way

Hüsker Dü - Publicity Photo Group 1987


I'm curious to know exactly how you are
I keep my distance but that distance is too far
It reassures me just to know that you're okay
But I don't want you to go on needing me this way

And I don't want to know if you are lonely
Don't want to know if you are less than lonely
Don't want to know if you are lonely
Don't want to know, don't want to know

The day you left me, left me feeling oh so bad
Still I'm not sure about all the doubts we had
From the beginning we both knew it wouldn't last
Decisions have been made the die has been cast

The phone is ringing and the clock says four A.M.
If it's your friends, well I don't want to hear from them
Please leave your number and a message at the tone
Or you can just go on and leave me alone

Tension in the band, however, remained high, and another double album - 1987's Warehouse: Songs and Stories - turned out to be their last. Their manager David Savor committed suicide just before a major US tour. Mould took over his role, and this did not help. Nor did Norton's getting married. Nor did Hart continuing with his regime of heavy drug and alcohol use while Mould stayed sober. Things in fact got worse. In 1987, Hart was either sacked or quit (depending on where you read about it), and the band broke up.

Hüsker Dü - The Living End Group Photo


Could you be the one they talk about?
Hiding inside, behind another door?
Is it only happiness you want?
Does wanting a feeling matter any more?

It doesn't mean that much to me
Sometimes I don't mean that much to you
And I don't even know what I'm hiding for

And I don't even know what I'm crying for
Don't even know what I'm hiding for

Could you be the one they talk about?
Life is a game that only you can make
Maybe I'm about to throw it out
I've given it all, that's all I can take

Could you be the one
Could you be the one
Could you be the one that's hanging all around

Don't even know what I'm hiding for
Don't even know what I'm crying for
Don't even know, could you be the only
Broken hearted one


Singles / Albums

Husker Du - Statues Husker Du - Land Speed Record Husker Du - In A Free Land Husker Du - Everything Falls Apart Husker Du - Metal Circus
Statues (7", 1981)
Land Speed Record
(LP, 1982)
In A Free Land
(7", 1982)
Everything Falls Apart (LP, 1983)
Metal Circus
(12", 1983)
Husker Du - Eight Miles High Husker Du - Zen Arcade Husker Du - New Day Rising Husker Du - Makes No Sense At All Husker Du - Flip Your Wig
Eight Miles High
(7", 1984)
Zen Arcade
(2xLP, 1984)
New Day Rising
(LP/CD, 1985)
Makes No Sense At All (7", 1985)
Flip Your Wig
(LP/CD, 1985)
Husker Du - Sorry Soemhow Husker Du - Candy Apple Grey Husker Du - Dont Want To Know Husker Du - Warehouse: Songs And Stories Husker Du - Could You Be The One?
Sorry Somehow (2x7"/12", 1986)
Candy Apple Grey (LP/CD, 1986) Don't Want To
Know If You Are Lonely
(7"/12", 1986)
Warehouse: Songs and Stories
(2xLP/CD, 1987)
Could You Be The One? (7"/12", 1987)
Husker Du - Ice Cold Ice        
Ice Cold Ice
(7"/12", 1987)

Extraneous Releases

Hüsker Dü - Eight Miles High / Makes No Sense At All Hüsker Dü - Everything Falls Apart And More Husker Du - The Living End  
Eight Miles High / Makes No Sense At All
(10"/CDS, 1990)
Everything Falls Apart And More
(CD, 1993)
The Living End
(CD, 1994)


Husker Dü - The Warehouse Interview Husker Dü - Do You Remember?    
The Warehouse Interview
(2xLP, promo, 1987)
Do You Remember? (CD, promo, 1994)      


Husker Du - The Early Years Husker Du - Makes No Sense At All Husker Du - Lynndale's Burning Husker Du - Books About UFOs Husker Du - Pogo Of The Halfdead
The Early Years
(7", 1985)
Makes No Sense At All
(LP, 1985)
Lynndale's Burning
(LP, 1986)
Books About UFO's
(LP, 1986)
Pogo Of The Halfdead (LP, 1988)
Husker Du - Drug Party Husker Du - Live At The 1st Avenue Club, Minneapolis, 1985 Husker Du - Minneapolis Is Burning Husker Du - Live In Boston 1986 Husker Du - Psyche Power Pop A Punk
Drug Party (7", 1990) Live At The 1st Avenue Club, Minneapolis, 1985 (LP, 1992) Minneapolis Is Burning (CD, 1992) Live in Boston 1986
(CD, 1993)
PsychePowerPopAPunk (CD, 1993)
Husker Du - Live On The Joan Rivers Show Husker Du - Now And Zen Husker Du - Supernova Husker Dü - Up In The Air: Studio Outtakes Husker Dü - Boston 1986
Live On The Joan Rivers Show 1987 (7", 1993) Now And Zen
(CD, 1994)
Supernova (CD, 1994) Up In The Air: Studio Outtakes (CD, 1996)

Boston 1986
(CD, 1997)

Hüsker Dü - Ultracore Husker Dü - Do You Remember? The Early Years 1980-1982 Husker Du - Spin Radio Show Husker Du - Every Everything Husker Dü - Early Demos
Ultracore (LP, 1997) Do You Remember? The Early Years 1980-1982 (LP, 2002)

Spin Radio Show
(LP, 2000)

Every Everything
(CDR, 2004)
Early Demos
(12", 2005)
Hüsker Dü - Spot's Arcade Husker Dü - The Truth Hurts: Early Demos And Recordings 1979-1980      
Spot's Arcade
(LP, 2010)
The Truth Hurts: Early Demos And Recordings 1979-1980 (LP, 2010)



Various Artists

Charred Remains US Tape 1981 (Noise Records): Bricklayer

Barefoot & Pregnant US Tape 1982 (Reflex): Target / Signals From Above / Let's Lie

Kitten Kompilation US Tape 1982 (Reflex): It's Not Fair (Live)

Underground Hits 2 Germany LP 1983 (Aggressive Rockproduktionen): Deadly Skies / Lifeline

The Blasting Concept US LP 1983 (SST): Real World

Code Blue US Tape 1984 (Last Rites): In A Free Land / Target / It's Not Funny Any More

Tellus #10: All Guitars US Tape 1984 (Tellus): Bob Mould Soundcheck

Bang Zoom #6 US Tape 1984 (Bang Zoom): Out On A Limb (Live)

A Diamond Hidden In The Mouth Of A Corpse US LP 1985 (Giorno Poetry Systems): Won't Change

NME'S Big Four UK 7" 1986 (NME): Ticket To Ride

The Blasting Concept Volume II US LP 1986 (SST): Erase Today

The 7 Inch Wonders Of The World US Tape 1986 (SST): Eight Miles High / Masochism World Makes No Sense At All / Love Is All Around

Smack My Crack UK LP 1987 (Giorno Poetry Systems): Won't Change

Duck And Cover US LP/CD 1990 (SST): Eight Miles High


HÜSKER DÜ DATABASE - Excellent mine of info (and where I grabbed the publicity shots and flyers from)

NEW DAY RISING - Good fansite


GRANT HART - Official site

BOB MOULD - Official site

THE NORTON'S - Eat at Greg Norton's restaurant!

WIKIPEDIA - Bandpage

FLEX! HARDCORE - Lots of reviews etc

KILL FROM THE HEART - Great bandpage

MARK PRINDLE - Reviews and abuse

GUY PETERS - More reviews


MYSPACE - Bandpage


You can add stuff and make comments/corrections by emailing me at:


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