May 21, 2008

Husker Du thrashes San Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens in 1981

In 1981, on a warm summer night when I was probably laying in my crib thinking about how I wanted to celebrate my 2nd birthday in a few weeks, Husker Du was just up the peninsula rocking the veritable old music venue in San Francisco’s North Beach at Mabuhay Gardens.

Nicknamed “Fab Mab,” the club hosted a number of important punk and new wave acts from 1976-1986, including the Dead Kennedys, The Avengers, Devo, Iggy Pop, Redd Kross, The Minutemen, Black Flag, The Ramones and Roky Erickson. This is a very early Husker Du show, when they were still relatively unknown. You can hear club promoter & booker Dirk Dirksen announcing the set: “Jello Biafra, while touring in the Northwest, ran across these people and asked me to book ‘em, so here they are, an addition to the program. Here’s . . . [sounds unsure of the pronunciation] Husker Du.”

And as the guy who made this available said, this is “one of the most intense live shows by ANY band you’ll ever find. I have no doubt in my mind that everyone who was there this night knew they were witnessing something very special. Any self-respecting punk fan needs to hear this one . . . Best played LOUD!” I agree.

July 24th or 25th, 1981
Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco
All Tensed Up

Don’t Try To Call
I’m Not Interested
Sore Eyes
Private Hell
Travel In The Opposite Car
Don’t Have A Life
Tired Of Doing Things Your Way
Sexual Economics
Do You Remember?
Let’s Go Die
Data Control



  • This f***in’ slays! I totally would have gone to this show, but I was home teething. Thanks for the post!

    Joel B — May 21, 2008 @ 10:17 pm


    It was so great to be 14 again …..

    Charles C Stirk Jr — May 22, 2008 @ 12:04 pm

  • My favorite band. Thanks for that.

    courtney — May 22, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

  • once again big up, thank you for yr swell site!

    Anonymous — May 22, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

  • thanks muchly – this is like having a 2nd disk of “land speed record”, except that the definition in these recordings is probably better…

    Anonymous — May 24, 2008 @ 8:47 am

  • I love you… no, I do. Thanks for this!

    pablo2541 — May 24, 2008 @ 11:30 am

  • Outrageous , excellent – new (old) material ‘ Sore Eyes’ .

    thank you for posting!

    Anonymous — June 5, 2008 @ 10:06 am

  • I wasn’t in the crib, I was at the Mab. And they did indeed thrash the place.

    nick — June 13, 2008 @ 12:33 am

  • Although these MP3′s seem like they’re disabled now I really enjoyed hearing this Husker show from this venue. Since I was 11 when the venue closed I didn’t have a chance to see ‘em as often as I’d liked. Great show and venue. Thanks for the post.

    Graphic Design: Cincinnati, Ohio

    Gargantuan Media — July 10, 2008 @ 10:42 am

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →