One of the most extraordinary things about Hüsker Dü was how ordinary they seemed.
While that kind of ordinariness is now the stock in trade of indie rock, in the mid-1980s, you still looked kinda how you sounded. Even The Replacements had their waxed up hair and their painted shoes.
So that’s what was so weird about Hüsker Dü. Three schlubs, two of them verging on overweight, and the third with a completely cheesy — and ironically, kinda gay-seeming — handlebar mustache. So, totally not hardcore. Jesus, Bob Mould even played a Gibson Flying V!
I mean, one of the signifiers of punk in the early 1980s was that you looked like a punk. I realize that part of the reason was to 1) show how disaffected you were with the mainstream society and 2) make it easy for other punks to recognize you. Therefore, when you saw a picture of Hüsker Dü in the mid-1980s, there was a disconnect. No way in the world you associate these guys with the golden roar of a song like “I Apologize.”
But there it was: Mould’s Flying-V tossing out oceans of distortion & sustain, Hart skidding out of the verses into a double-time, and then a pre-chorus, chorus and post-chorus for the ages.
Is it something I said when I lost my mind?
Temper too quick, makes me blind
Said I’m sorry (said I’m sorry)
Said I’m sorry
It’s your turn
Can you look me in the eyes
How ’bout it?!
There is so much going on in a song like “I Apologize” that’s its almost impossible to capture it all: the call and response and the harmonies; the quick little guitar riffs Mould sneaks into the cracks, and even the sentiment of the song itself.
I mean, can you imagine Jello Biafra or Ian MacKaye writing an entire song apologizing for their behavior? It was so relatable. Just like the three dudes making the music.
“I Apologize” performed live in 1985
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