5 Things You Might Not Know About Hüsker Dü
Today we celebrate the birthday of Greg Norton, the man who played bass for the late, great Minneapolis band Hüsker Dü. Do you remember? Sure you do: he and his bandmates Grant Hart and Bob Mould delivered such classic tunes as “Don’t Want to Know if You Are Lonely” and “Could You Be the One?” To pay tribute to Norton, we’ve put together a list of five things you may or may not have known about Hüsker Dü, so put your reading glasses on…and, hey, why not give our Hüsker Dü playlist a spin while you’re perusing the list?
- Norton, Hart, and Mould first played together under a different name.
Ever heard of Buddy and the Returnables? That’s what the guys were called when they first came together as a band. There’s one major difference between the band they were then and the band they became, however, and that’s a guy named Charlie Pine, who played keyboards. After playing around town for awhile and doing sets filled predominantly with covers, Norton, Hart, and Mould decided that they didn’t much care for Pine’s keyboards, so they started practicing around town without him. Bad luck for Pine, but good luck for the rest of us.
- They once recorded a cover of the theme to The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Actually, if you’re a real fan, then this is common information, but if you’ve never ventured any deeper into the band’s catalog than their handful of radio hits, then you’ve been missing out, because it’s a whole lot of fun.
- They once appeared on The Late Show with Joan Rivers.
When you get signed to a major label, you get some pretty high-profile gigs, some of which may find you feeling a little bit out of your element. It’s hard to imagine that Norton, Hart, and Mould didn’t feel this way when they found themselves chatting with Joan Rivers. Still, you can’t beat that kind of exposure!
- While it wasn’t the only reason, the suicide of their manager led to the band’s breakup.
In a 2006 interview with Q Magazine, Hart attributed David Savoy’s death at his own hand to “the pressure of working for Bob and me, because he was being forced into a two-faced situation.” That said, the combination of Norton getting married, Hart struggling to kick his heroin addiction, and Mould conquering his own demons (he’d just quit drinking) made it all too easy for the guys to go their separate ways.
- In addition to their musical legacy, there is also a bike tire named after them.
Yes, really. And you will probably not be surprised to learn that 45NRTH, the company that makes them, is based in Minnesota.