"See A Light Light" Marathon – Overview – Chapters 1-6
"See A Light Light" Marathon – Overview – Chapters 1-6

"See A Light Light" Marathon – Overview – Chapters 1-6

Note – this is an overview of “See A Little Light: The Trail Of Rage And Melody” – an upcoming biography of former Sugar/Husker Du frontman Bob Mould.
Chapter 1
In which Bob Mould talks about
– Growing up in Malone, New York “a town of roughly four thousand at the very northernmost end of the state, in a thin strip between the vast Adirondacks and the Canadian border”
– Dealing with his father’s (Willis F. Mould III) violent temper / growing up in a dysfunctional family
– Getting into music (Kiss and Ramones, in particular) and starting to write his own songs
– Getting into drinking
– Dealing with his homosexuality

My father would come home around seven in the evening and that’s when the game would begin. Inevitably, something, just about anything would set him off: it could be a pot boiling over, a chore left undone, something of little significance that happened days before. The whole family would walk on eggshells before the coming shit-storm. I’d wait in dread for the first venomous line, the first accusation, the first degrading comment. Where would it start tonight?

Chapter 2
In which Bob Mould talks about
– His growing fascination with punk rock – Ramones, New York Dolls and Sex Pistols
– Getting out of Malone and moving to Macalester College in Minneapolis
– Various music stores of Minneapolis, including Cheapo Records and Oarfolkjokeopus
– Meeting Grant Hart and Greg Norton

Still jacked sky-high on adrenaline, we cracked another case of beer and listened to punk rock, then wen into the hallway and smashed all the bottles. It was nuts. It was like Animal House but with punk rock as the soundtrack. I remember people looking at me as if I were John Belushi, like I had that kind of craziness. No one was stopping me; they may have been scared shitless. We ended up playing hockey with a case of empty beer bottles. The broken glass slid under the doors, so the next morning, some of the guys in the dorm were walking around with bloody feet. So then you have hallway full of blood. It was fucked up.

Chapter 3
In which Bob Mould talks about
– Starting a band (which at first was called Buddy & The Returnables and included Charlie Pine,  who was later kicked out of the band)
– Playing first gig as Husker Du
– Getting into smoking and speed
– Getting into bands like Throbbing Gristle, Gang of Four and Buzzcocks
– Meeting Johhny Thunders and witnessing his drug habits
– Building a band following (commonly referred to as “the Veggies”)
– Releasing “Amusement/Statues” single
– Touring outside of Minnesota

Black Flag, the ruling and notorious kings of Southern California hardcore, had played earlier that evening at COD’s. Our gig at Oz was booked at the after-show party. During the set, I was out of my skull on cheap speed and beer, swinging at the air with a hammer, breaking bottles and throwing myself into walls. I was trying to upstage anything Black Flag might have done at their show, but turns out that I wasn’t the only one contributing.
There was a little utility closet behind the drum kit that we used as a dressing room, and after the set, someone threw a bucket of blue paint from behind the stage. The paint bucket exploded on the floor in front of the stage area, and then a woman in a head-to-toe leather suit started scooping up paint with one of Grant’s downed cymbals, intending to pour it over his drum kit – the kit he’d inherited from his beloved late brother Tom. Grant ran out, tackled her into the paint, picked her off the floor, and started bouncing her off the walls, leaving a series of blue butt prints around the club.

Chapter 4
In which Bob Mould talks about
– Husker Du embarking on Children’s Crusade tour
– Touring with the likes of D.O.A. and Dead Kennedys
– Dealing with AIDS scare

We covered a lot of land. We took a lot of speed. And we made a record.

Chapter 5
In which Bob Mould talks about
– Husker Du forging a relationship with SST Records
– More touring with Black Flag, Descendents, D.O.A. and others
– The release of “Land Speed Record”
– A (healthy) rivalry between Husker Du and The Replacements

That September, after Husker Du played a show with Dead Kennedys in Chicago, John Cale appeared backstage, offering his production services. He was intoxicated and kept trying to hug us and lift us off the ground. Despite his undeniable influence on the previous two decades of modern music, we politely declined his kind offer, as we were a little surprised and unnerved by his behavior. But the fact that Cale had heard about the band was surprising, and it signaled how quickly our reputation was spreading.

Chapter 6
In which Bob Mould talks about
– Husker Du Midwest tour
– Meeting his first boyfriend
–  The release of “Metal Circus”

The underground music scene was small enough then that a band like Husker Du could become friends with a guy like Rick Rubin. At the time, Rick was living in an NYU dormitory, playing in his band Hose and running a new label called Def Jam. Rick was very kind to Husker Du, even bringing us out to stay for a few nights at his mom’s house in Lido Beach, Long Island.A few months later, Hose supported Husker Du on a couple shows in Wisconsin. Later in 1984, Rick played me some demos of a rap act he was keen on; I remember him saying that this guy was going to be big, but I had my doubts. “I dunno, Rick.” I said, “I’m not really hearing it.” The track he played me was “I Need a Beat” by LL Cool J. So much for me recognizing one of the other main directions of the future of music.

Ramones – Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
New York Dolls – Looking For A Kiss
Sex Pistols – Holiday In The Sun
Throbbing Gristle – I.B.M.
Husker Du – Diane
LL Cool J – I Need A Beat

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