MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A local musician who left his mark on the music industry lost his battle with cancer Thursday.
Minnesota native Grant Hart was the drummer and co-singer of the band Hüsker Dü.
But Hart was more than just a musician; he was an innovator, paving the way for other rock and punk bands.
Mark Trehus, owner of Treehouse Records in Minneapolis, is just one of many people across the globe who are mourning the loss of a music legend. He was roommates with Hart in 1983.
“There were times when I saw them I was convinced I was seeing the best band in the world,” Trehus said.
Trehus says Hüsker Dü bandmates — Hart, Bob Mould and Greg Norton — knew their band had a sound at the time that no one could duplicate.
“They started out as a hardcore, fast band, and before long at all they were adding melody and hooks in their songs,” Trehus said.
But Trehus says they never sacrificed that aggressive hard punk-rock sound.
Hüsker Dü was one of the first bands from the American indie scene to sign to a major record label, and Hart — as one of the group’s principal songwriters — had a lot to do with that.
“There would be no Nirvana without a Hüsker Dü. There certainly would not have been a Soul Asylum from here without a Hüsker Dü,” Trehus said.
Today, the music of Hüsker Dü and Hart’s solo projects fill Treehouse Records, which the group often visited.
“Back when it was [the record store] Oar Folkjokeopus, all three of them — Bob. Grant and Greg — use to hang out there quite a bit,” Trehus said.
He says Hart was a genius with an incredible voice, who was so smart that he could have done anything he wanted.
Bob Mould released a statement Thursday on his Facebook page, which said in part, “The tragic news of Grant’s passing was not unexpected to me. My deepest condolences and thoughts to Grant’s family, friends, and fans around the world.”
Greg Norton also released a statement Thursday, saying in part, “Grant left us a great legacy with his music. He was bigger than life and he lived life on his own terms. He will be missed by many.”
Hart was 56 years old.