Review: See A Little Light – Bob Mould’s autobiography

The last year or so has unexpectedly proved a bumper time for Husker Du-related books, with first Andrew Earles’ book on the band and more recently Bob Mould’s autobiography, See A Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody.

Mould, guitarist and singer first in Husker Du and then in Sugar, has always been a somewhat reticent figure in interviews, happy to talk about the music but rarely giving away anything in public that might be considered personal.

This is after all someone who kept his homosexuality hidden throughout the 80s and early nineties, until outed by Spin magazine and Dennis Cooper (“Bob Mould makes it abundantly clear … that he is not a freak and won’t be turned into one,” Spin 1994.)

So the openness with which Mould approached See A Little Light was refreshing to this long-time fan.

Even as a 19-year (and counting) follower of Bob Mould’s work – even Modulate and LoudBomb, the book is still revelatory as the previously super private singer/guitarist opens up with an at-times painfully honest look at his life, loves and, of course, his work.

The gates had been opening for sure over the last few years.

“After all those years of being incredibly private, it’s a little unnerving to some people, I’m sure,” Mould told Keith Cameron in 2008 as the singer took stock of a period that, beginning with the Spin interview, had taken in stints as a wrestling scriptwriter, and house DJ.

But rather than being unnerving, See A Little Light was one of my favourite reads from last year and certainly one of the best music books I’ve read.

So, a great, very readable – aided by co-author Michael Azzarad – book that’s packed with fascinating insights into the 1980s American punk rock/alternative/hardcore scenes and 1990s alternative rock boom.

And if you’re into Husker Du read this, then do pick up Noise Pop Pioneers (very interesting but patchily written) to round out the picture of that legendary band.

Finally, I have to include the following video as my blog is named after one of this song’s lines.

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