Grant Hart: Hüsker Dü drummer/co-songwriter dies at 56

Hüsker Dü in the '80s, from left: Greg Norton, Grant Hart, and Bob Mould [Photo: promotional handout]

Hüsker Dü in the '80s, from left: Greg Norton, Grant Hart, and Bob Mould [Photo: promotional handout]

Grant Hart -- the drummer/co-frontman of massively influential Twin Cities punk band Hüsker Dü -- died Wednesday at his St. Paul home, the New York Times reports. He was 56. 

"The tragic news of Grant’s passing was not unexpected to me. My deepest condolences and thoughts to Grant’s family, friends, and fans around the world," Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould wrote Thursday via Facebook of Hart, who had been battling cancer. "Grant Hart was a gifted visual artist, a wonderful story teller, and a frighteningly talented musician. Everyone touched by his spirit will always remember."

In the 1980s as Hüsker Dü, Hart & Co. produced a vortex of harmony and rage that would help set the template for alt-rock and indie-rock. The power-blasting trio formed in 1979, issued six acclaimed full-length albums, and discordantly split in 1988. Hüsker Dü belong on the Mount Rushmore of Minnesota music, right alongside Dylan, Prince, and scenemates the Replacements. 

Post-Hüskers, Hart fronted the band Nova Mob in the '90s, then shifted into a solo career. His last solo album, The Argument, dropped in 2013. Two years earlier, a fire ravaged his boyhood South St. Paul home, where he was living at the time. 

"After relinquishing everything to the blaze, I learned to be mindful of the things I wished to possess," Hart told City Pages. "I am pretty much down to musical equipment, art, and books."

News of Hart's death comes just ahead of the November release of Savage Young Dü, the sprawling, much-hyped Hüsker Dü boxset. Hart is survived by his wife and son.

Read Mould's entire post below. 

And here's a classic Hart song from Hüsker Dü. RIP.