The following is an excerpt from the book No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico. All photos by Ron Gregorio.
Hüsker Dü – March 25, 1984
Amy Yates Wuelfing: I am not exaggerating when I say that here is another legendary band, and they drew about 30 people to this show.
Grant Hart (Hüsker Dü, drummer/vocalist): It seems to me that by the time we were playing City Gardens, we wouldn’t have played there in front of 30 people, would we? I mean, we wouldn’t have been hired unless the crowd was a little bigger.
Randy Now: If they drew 60 people to their first show at the club, they were lucky.
Grant Hart: We’re looking backwards from this whole eBay, Record Store Day world where people don’t know. I mean, a lot of the younger people don’t have a clue about real scarcity. The first Hüsker Dü record is worth a lot of money because there weren’t that many of them made, not because the record label decided, oh, we’re going to make it for Record Store Day and intentionally make it scarce. When we first started touring, we did it in a succession of crappy Dodge vans, and I was the only one in the band who knew how to drive a stick. Meanwhile, my mother drove a stick. But, for example, [Hüsker Dü guitarist] Bob Mould and I took a Mensa test at the same time—just for kicks—and I scored higher. Of course, he’s like, “Well, those kind of tests, they’re biased towards people who are blah blah blah.” It was the same with driving a stick. His brain was so evolved he couldn’t figure out how to do it. I don’t want to sound like a broken record about the past 30 years, but certain things were rationalized according to his worldview. I’m really surprised at some of the stuff that [Mould’s coauthor] Michael Azerrad let him put in the book [See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody]. It was almost like Azerrad threw up his hands and said, “Go ahead, make a fucking complete ass of yourself.” Bob and I are the famous feud, which is like… I don’t know? Are there any others currently? Morrissey and Johnny Marr. The Sebadoh dudes, maybe. But whenever I talk to the British press especially, there’s so much manipulation. They’ll be like, [fake British accent] “Well, before we break into some Hüsker Dü questions, I interviewed Bob when the book came out, and he was saying quite unabashedly how he really intended this book to hurt people.” In the end, the only one he hurt was himself, because he looks like a jackass. For my latest project, I did quite a bit of thinking when [record label] Domino wanted to print on a poster, “A Must For All Hüsker Dü Fans.” Eventually I was like, sure why not? I’m not the one who spent the last 30 years denying that that band ever happened.