Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Bob Mould: Addendum

Still haven't picked up Bob's record. And he's playing in my manor next week too - sold out, happily, though I rather wish I could be there - but then that in itself isn't 'true fan' talk anyway, is it?
Scouting around today I read this Spin magazine interview snippet from last year:
SPIN: Both you and Grant Hart were gay, but no one ever spoke about that while Hüsker Dü were active. Looking back, do you wish you had been more open? Would that have even been possible?
MOULD: We never talked about it that much. As an artist, writing at the time gender-neutral songs, I wanted everyone to be included, and had the band been labeled as 'gay music', no one would have listened. Fast-forward a few years to 1994: Spin sends Dennis Cooper to spend two days with me in Austin, saying that if I didn't come out, they were going to out me. So I capitulated, and now everything's good, but I came from a very small town and they had to deal with that. One of my friends from high school who was also gay went away and then got killed when he came back. At this point in my life, I feel assured and centered and whole, but to get here? Jesus.
It was only a few years after Husker Du split that I figured out Bob was homosexual, and this in the pre-internet days (c. 1989-90?) when news travelled a little slower, after someone or other in the music press remarked (perhaps indiscreetly) that 'they'd never heard a gay man make music like that.' (Hardcore rock 'n' roll music, to be precise.) But Mould's comments are illuminating, and prove how much dogged thought has to go into all of this when an artist wants a real career - 'gender neutral' songs, indeed. Listening to Warehouse: Songs and Stories back in 1987 I absolutely felt like he was writing and singing about me and how I felt about the Girl down the street, or up on Heaven Hill or wherever. But then that's artistry for you.

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