Hüsker Dü, formed in 1979 by singer/guitarist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton and drummer Grant Hart, began their musical journey as a blazing fast hardcore band—their breakneck tempos often attributed to heavy use of cheap amphetamines.
Though they were later known for their strong melodies, hooks, and pop sensibilities, the early years of the Hüskers were balls-out, speed-freak bursts—referenced in the title of their first LP, Land Speed Record.
A soundboard tape from a July 1981 gig at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco has surfaced online that may eclipse the aforementioned Land Speed Record as the definitive document of this era of the group. The recording was made by Terry Hammer who did a lot of live remote recordings during that era in San Francisco. We wrote about Terry before when we presented his amazing live DEVO recording.
This soundboard tape, while not as crystal clear as Hammer’s DEVO tape, is still a crucial document. It has been bootlegged twice. Once as The Children’s Crusade, and once as Do You Remember Radio?
One of the two titles this set has been bootlegged under.
This recording, direct from the source is far better quality than either of those bootlegs. Also, it’s free.
Hüsker Dü were still relatively unknown at this point. You can hear club promoter Dirk Dirksen announcing their set: “Jello Biafra, while touring in the Northwest, ran across these people and asked me to book ‘em, so here they are, uh, a[n] addition to the program… Here’s… [seems unsure of their name]... Hüsker Dü.”
Fab Mab flyer which mentions nobodies, Hüsker Dü in the fine print.
There seems to be some discrepancy in the historical record online as to when exactly this show took place, but it was either July 24th or July 25th of 1981.
This set is absolutely killer—you’ll wanna play this one loud.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
We found the all-time best DEVO live recording. Let’s listen to it, for free.
Can we talk? Do you remember Hüsker Dü‘s 1987 appearance on ‘The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers’