“It’s just lost stuff, not people.”
So said a surprisingly upbeat Grant Hart a few days after a fire destroyed two rooms and a lot of personal belongings at his house in South St. Paul last week. The veteran rocker shared the home with his mom, 86, who had (somewhat fortuitously) entered a care facility around the holidays. Hart was home at the time and said the blaze broke out faster than he could even attempt to put it out, likely caused by faulty electrical wiring. He and his two cats are now staying at a friend’s place.
Because the house has been in the family since well before he was born, he’s hesitant to call it a lost cause, but he also said he’s not keen on “spending everything I stand to make for the next 10 years on a house the bank will own.” Among the items that are for sure lost are the vintage Gibson guitar that, he said, “has pretty much been my baby since the end of Hüsker Dü,” plus a lot of artwork (his and others’). A piece he owns by William S. Burroughs also suffered smoke damage but might be salvageable.
As Hart weighs his options, his many friends and collaborators in the Twin Cities arts communities aren’t waiting to help. First Avenue is planning a benefit concert for mid-March. SooVAC is also putting together a live auction and art sale featuring Hart’s pieces and other collectables, including damaged pieces — literally a fire sale. In the meantime, Grant will keep doing his thing: He's playing a gig this Friday at Cause Spirits & Soundbar. Hart had only been home two days from a tour when the fire happened and said, “Fortunately, I know how to live with only a few things in my possession.”