Husker Du didn't care if the Replacements were lonely

Published April 26, 2016

While the Replacements fought hard to keep from being a success, they were not immune to competition and created rivalries among their fellow bands from Minneapolis. While Prince had The Time in Purple Rain, the Replacements first rivalry was with Husker Du, author of many great songs including Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely.

The Replacements and Husker Du are always linked together as they both started about the same time and had their origins in local record stores. Members of each band were all friends and drinking buddies but as they both improved they were soon fighting it out for opening slots on the club scene, then recording deals and eventually who's album would get the best review.

Husker Du guitarist Bob Mould would even be connected to two Replacements songs: 1980's Something to Du (with the lyrics "something to Husker .. break the mould") and 1983's Run It (a true motorcycle chase story that started off with Paul Westerberg and Chris Mars of the Replacements drinking beer at Mould's house).

By 1986, the rivalry had subsided as both bands were faring well on the alternative scene with Husker Du's Candle Apple Grey album getting national notice on MTV. The lead single Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely actually charted on the U.K. singles chart and has since appeared in the movie Adventureland and covered by Green Day. In the video at the 2:30 mark there is even a picture of the memory board game, Husker Du, that inspired the band name.

Husker Du would fall apart just like the Replacements did over substance abuse and creative control. While drummer Grant Hart released some critically praised solo albums, it was Bob Mould that would have the best career as both a solo artist and as a member of Sugar. Bassist Greg Norton would drop out of music and became a chef and restaurant owner.