You could make a strong argument that the Minneapolis trio Hüsker Dü were the single greatest, most important band to emerge from the early-’80s hardcore era. Over nine years and six full-length albums, the band built a ridiculously sturdy catalog of songs, pushed its genre in new directions at every turn, toured relentlessly, and got popular enough to become one of the first bands from the indie underground to sign to a major label. But when they broke up in 1988, it was ugly. Singer/guitarist Bob Mould had just forced himself to quit drinking, while singer/drummer Grant Hart, the band’s other co-leader, was deep in the throes of heroin addiction. Their split was decisive and final. Even in the midst of the last decade’s band-reunion wave, there’s been no talk of a Hüsker Dü reunion. Mould and Hart haven’t even been in communication with one another for decades. All of a sudden, though, that could be changing.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Hüsker Dü launched a merchandise website over the weekend. And that might not seem like a very big deal, even if the T-shirts do look pretty cool. But it’s notable because, to get this thing going, the three former band members actually had to talk to each other and come to some agreements. Bassist Greg Norton says that the site is “just 30 years in the making.”
Norton says that the band’s three ex-members have hired Meat Puppets manager Dennis Pelowski to “help us figure out how to get a foothold back in the business.” Pelowski has helped them license their classic song “Pink Turns To Blue” to an episode of Halt And Catch Fire, and he’s working on getting an official Facebook page up. A reissue campaign also seems like a possibility, though Norton says, “There are more moving parts than we’d like to deal with, but we’ll see what happens.”
Obviously, while these steps are nice, they’re still a long way away from a full-on reunion. Still, the demand is out there, and if the former members see that people are interested and get to talking to each other, who knows? For so many years, this wasn’t even a distant possibility, thanks to the whole apparently-hating-each-other thing. That’s over now. As Norton says, “The main thing is, there’s ongoing communication between the three of us now.” That’s something!