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It seems like you can be a fan but you could never be in the band.
And the Ramones changed that whole paradigm for me.
From that, we were able to construct a number of threads that weaved throughout the book, whether it’s my personal intimate relationships, my professional work, my sexuality, how religion affected the work at times.
Putting aside the painful moments associated with the breakup, could you appreciate how much that music still means to people? I was busy making new work instead of revisiting the past.
After Husker Dü broke up in 1988, you rebounded with first your solo career and then with Sugar in the early to mid ’90s.
I would say understanding it for sure, and embracing it and beginning a journey of getting comfortable with my own skin, which has been the battle for so many decades. In the eight years that the band was together, we made a lot of amazing music, got a lot of people’s attention and the work still resonates today. Personally, when it was over, I was ready to move on and be my own person.
There was a period in 1998, where I made a rock record ‘The Last Dog and Pony Show,’ and my proclamation was, “This is the end of this, this is the end of what I’ve been doing for 20 years.” The real reason for it — beyond being tired of the genre itself — was also take the time to claim my sexuality and learn my history as a gay man, the history I never experienced or understood or denied. You make it quite clear in the book that you are not interested in revisiting your Husker Dü past. It just really wasn’t a topic that I felt like I had to remind people of or to explain in any great detail.