RIP Grant Hart

Sad news of Grant Hart’s passing today. How many shows have truly changed your life?


On June 15, 1984 I was fourteen years old. G.S. Vig’s was a local dive where a Mexican restaurant used to be, the one eclectic indie venue in town. A friend’s older brother worked there, and let a few of us skater kids in the back door after making us promise not to try to buy from the bar. The room had to be all of 25 feet across and the guitars were clear and great and insanely loud. I was oblivious to the prospect of ear damage or any kind of damage, really, but even so, I had wads of toilet paper in because by the speakers it just fucking hurt. I remember the red, beer-soaked carpet, probably because I was looking at my feet a lot, staying in the corners, feeling sneaky and lucky to be there.

They played their cover of the Byrds’ “Eight Miles High.” Hardcore wasn’t supposed to take dreamy psychedelia on board, according to the script, but they embraced it generously, without irony, a move so far ahead of the times and opening wide to a decade of shoegaze vistas. That music could be powerful and beautiful and good-hearted all at once was a revelation, an experience I kept chasing and still do. Thanks Grant Hart, rest in power chords eternal.