Grant wasn't a friend, but we had conversations and were in the same small rooms about a million times. The punk scene in the twin cities wasn't exactly huge. And the punk scene in St. Paul was even smaller.
I might have said this before around here, or written it somewhere, but here's a scene that perfectly sums up everything about Grant:
Johnny Thunders and Wayne Kramer from the MC5 had a band for a couple months called Gangwar, and they were doing a show at the 7th St. Entry (a broom closet off the main floor at First Avenue). Hüsker Dü was opening the show, and I was wandering around a couple hours before the doors opened and I went around the back of First Avenue and there was Grant, sitting on a curb, banging on a broken kick drum pedal with a big rock. To "fix" it. I said, "What's up Grant?" and he looked up with a big smile and said, "It's a great day to be alive!"
Grant was a friend of mine, although not close, for the last few years. Woke up to the awful news this morning, although I knew he was given a month to a year to live about 2 months ago, so he was on borrowed time. Inoperable liver cancer. Had not heard from him much in the last year. His life was always intense. We had planned a number of projects together, including a tour diary, which would have been amazing. The last project that we half-finished was a commemorative stamp with his face on it. Will have to complete that project some day.
I was probably at that show. Twin Tone recorded a dozen bands at the Entry over a few day period in 1981, and I think the Replacements played the same night as Hüsker Dü (the Gangwar show that Hüsker Dü opened was about a year earlier if my memory serves me, which it usually doesn't).
I must have seen 100 shows at the Entry and First Avenue, and it seemed like Hüsker Dü played at half of them.
Right place at the right time, I guess. Or the wrong place at the wrong time, depending on your musical tastes.
Yeah, here's the Gangwar ticket stub, it was more than a year earlier. And the Internet tells me that the Replacements did indeed play with Hüsker Dü at the Entry on 9/5/81. The Replacements and Hüsker Dü did a lot of shows together.
Hüsker Dü also opened for Bad Brains the first time I saw them in 1982. Though that was across town at Duffy's. An incredible night that I shared with the other 20 people who were there. ;) Like I said, it was a small scene, and Bad Brains weren't really well known yet.