Monday, August 29, 2011

After He, The Deluge.


For a while there Bob Mould was pretty much everywhere.

Heckfire, he even showed up for more than half-an-hour with Stephen Quinn recently who was, unfortunately, not at his best filling in for Jian Ghomeshi on CBC's 'Q'.

Why was this all happening, you may be asking yourself, especially given that Husker-Du, or as Mr. Mould still calls them, 'Hooskers', packed it in way more than twenty years ago?

Well, it turns out that Mr. Mould has written a book about his life before, during, and after the seminal turn-of-the '80's Midwestern/DIY punk-band of true, raw, explosive power and fury that almost, but not quite, made it really big before it exploded and vapourized almost without a trace, except of course for the diamond hardcore core that was soon everywhere without any rust or fade away of any kind whatsoever....

And he was out and about with a vengeance flogging it.

The book and his life, but not the band, I mean.

And it turns out that Mr. Mould has had a heck of an interesting life, a life more rugged, individualistic and boot-strappingly successful than any Marlboro Man could ever possibly imagine.


This guy whose stuff I came across because he too likes reading Mr. Beer 'N Hockey's wordsmithing (that's the way the Interwebz works!), Nazz Nomad, wrote an interesting review of Mr. Mould's book, almost in real time, as he was reading it.

Here's a bit of that review from Nazz, who himself is a real musician in a real life DIY band:

"Currently, I am reading and enjoying Bob Mould's auto-bio"See A Little Light". A fine book, not as heavy on the soul searching as I woulda thought, given his cathartic oeuvre of music, but some good insights nonetheless. He doesn't savage Grant Hart as much as you would expect, given their post-Husker relationship. Actually, he seems to think less of Greg Norton- basically describing him as superfluous to Hu-Du (except for his driving abilities)....


...I met Bob "back in the Hu Du days" a couple of times (and exchanged a couple of e-mails back and forth with him a few years ago) and he was always really really nice (as were Grant Hart and Greg Norton), so the "monstrous" anti-social behavior he describes in the book I never witnessed. There are some good insights into the Hu-Du songwriting and recording history, and I suspect the rest of the book will do the same for Sugar and his solo work....

{snippety doo-dah}

...It's also really cool to read his thoughts on some of the great shows that I saw the Huskers play- they were some amazing times for me, and it's always great to think about those old shows when both Bobby and I had alot more hair!....

{snippety doodle-dandy}

I am relieved this isn't a "grouchy" look at his past- I hate those kind of "I hated every moment of my life" books. For example, I worshipped The Ramones, but after reading the various "tell alls" that were written about the "brudders", my memories of all the great times I had at their shows and listening to their music are a bit ruined since I know what miserable people they were.

Despite some rocky self hating moments, Bob at 50 seems to be a happy, well adjusted guy. Good for him!

As you might imagine, given that I am a 5/8th's done (if I'm lucky) guy myself who tries to look both forward and backward in an effort put things in perspective, even if it is, dare I mention it, often just a wee bit digressive, I had to leave Nazz a comment to his fine review/post.

Here's a bit of it:

"...I, too, found it interesting how gentle Mould went on (Drummer and co-creative force Grant) Hart and the derisiveness he had for (Greg) Norton's choice to play more golf than bass well before the break-up.

I also found his description of how he might have pushed too hard on tune choices such that it squelched overall band creativity to be fascinating and a reasonable measure of his efforts to be honest.

Finally, I really dug the fact that he still considers Hooskers (as he calls it) to have been the very best band of its time.

And ya, when he talked about how they worked together when they were at their furious peak... Well, that was exhilarating to contemplate - Even now, twenty five years later."

I didn't mean to knock Mr. Quinn specifically, above, because he often does much better work than most of his fellow MoCo denizens. It's just that it was more of a fanzine/lifestyle interview bit which was fine, but it dealt very rudimentarily with the actual music and, more importantly to my mind because I'm deeply interested in it, especially when it is so completely DIY/fresh outta nowhere, there was absolutely no discussion of the actual process of Mr. Mould's music making itself. If you want to hear a little about the latter I highly recommend Mould's long form interview with WBEZ's DeRogatis and Kot, which you can find here.



Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I would have left a comment at Nazz's blog about what I recall of Husker Du's appearance(s) in pre-riot happy Vancouver except for one small detail. I have no such recall to share. Willie Picton must have buying that night.

RossK said...

Ya, but...

Your cornhusk was there, right?