Written by: Alex Green
This is the second time in as many weeks that I’ve had to address the reunion of another band whose reformation would mean a lot to a lot of people.
Last week it was LCD Soundsystem.
Although LCD broke up in 2012, both Consequence of Sound and Billboard declared they had information the band would be getting back together and that was that.
And that would have been awesome, but, it turned out, that was not that at all.
Not even close.
DFA Records, which is the label that’s co-owned by LCD’s James Murphy, issued a statement that refuted there were reunion plans. When the stories of the reunion continued to persist, the label’s Kris Petersen issued a more emphatic statement that went a little something like this:
“LCD Soundsystem is not reuniting at Coachella next year…I’m sure some festivals have offered the group a giant tempting pile of money, but there is no truth to this. Can we all just move on with our fucking lives?”
Bizarrely, COS stood by their report and failed to back down.
No moving on for them, it seems.
The subject of this week’s reunion chatter?
The Minneapolis power trio dominated the ’80s underground with albums like New Day Rising, Flip Your Wig and Metal Circus but they abruptly disbanded in 1987 and it wasn’t pretty.
Years of acrimony followed–almost thirty of them, to be exact–and along with The Smiths, they have always seemed like the least likely band to ever reunite.
They still do, in fact.
But there have been some blips on the Hüsker Dü radar lately. Notably, they (finally!) have a website where you can buy official band merch and Stereogum wisely pointed out: “…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.”
Stereogum also reported this news from the band’s bassist Greg Norton: “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.'”
All good news, especially because my girlfriend made me throw out my threadbare New Day Rising shirt years ago and I want another one.
But let’s be honest: band communication between those who seemed to not communicate for years, is a great thing. It really is. And when those members are Bob Mould and Grant Hart–shall we call them the post-punk Morrissey and Marr?–that’s a really great thing because for years it was a bitter, bitter thing.
However, none of this signals a reunion.
Years ago, my friend’s ex-wife called him from another state where she lived with another guy and was leading another life.
They’d been divorced for three years but my friend still loved her deeply and was sure they’d get back together one day.
She had phoned to see if my friend had some old photographs of her family that she had mistakenly left behind.
“I think she wants to get back together,” he said to me. “Why else would she call?”
The answer, of course, was to get her pictures back.
And this this business with Hüsker Dü?
It’s just business.
Let’s face it: Hüsker Dü is a good retirement plan to have and for the trio to catch up with social media and make a few bucks is something they should do.
In fact, they should have done it a while ago.
But it doesn’t mean they’re getting back together.
It just means now you’ll have a way to get a Zen Arcade t-shirt and the members of Hüsker Dü will make money on that purchase.
But for fun, let’s take a quick look at where Hart and Mould stand with each other.
It turns out that this thawing is not a sudden thing at all.
Back in 2013 Grant Hart told The Current’s Andrea Swensson: “‘I think Bob and I have had plenty of opportunities to exploit our camaraderie. You know, the last 10 years we’ve been sorting a lot of things out, as far as, ‘You didn’t really say this, did you?’ And it’s like, ‘No, I didn’t really say that! Did you really say that?’ ‘No, that was so and so.’ There comes a time where you have to put your anger away…But the idea of a reunion? I don’t think anybody in Hüsker needs it. It’s not going to enhance our reputation. And I think it says a lot to be the band that doesn’t take the candy from the dish. You’re seeing people that never had a union having a reunion. All these one-and-a-half album bands that—you know, everybody looks themselves in the mirror and wishes like Faust that they could relive their best days, but hell, make new great times.'”
And in January of this year Chris Riemehschneider of Vita.mn interviewed Bob Mould and he reported: “Another stormy relationship is somewhat on the mend. He and Grant Hart, Hüsker Dü’s other singer, have stopped waging war on each other in the press. He called Hart’s “The Argument” album of 2013 ‘a high-water mark for him.’ He also said of the business surrounding the band’s long-neglected catalog, ‘Everybody is in communication and participating — we’re in sort of an assessment period.'”
So this really isn’t new news at all.
The reunion thread of last week was picked up by everyone from Diffuser.fm to Noise11, but there’s really nothing to report. It’s just a hope and whenever there’s activity by a defunct band the reunion hopes start to swell.
It happened with the Replacements and they got back together.
But it also happened with Pavement last year and they didn’t.
One site theorized that Hüsker Dü’s plan to start a Facebook page was a way for them to gauge if we’re still out there.
That’s the silliest thing I’ve heard in years.
They know we’re out there.
And they’ll come get us when they want to.
In the meantime, get yourself a great shirt right here: