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Husker Du bassist Greg Norton reveals cancer battle ahead of new band UltraBomb's debut

Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune on

Published in Health & Fitness

MINNEAPOLIS — On the day he was supposed to kick off a U.K. trek with his new band UltraBomb, former Husker Du bassist Greg Norton instead dropped some bombshell news Thursday: He is battling prostate cancer and had to call off the tour.

The Minnesota music vet — who played bass in recent years with Porcupine and became a notable chef after his Husker Du days — said in a Facebook post he was only just diagnosed in early June and thus could not give more notice before canceling dates.

"My doctors at the Mayo Clinic believe I have excellent odds, but we need to get in right away and move forward with treatment and surgery," said Norton, 63, who's a father and stepfather to three girls.

He and his UltraBomb bandmates are keeping one and only one gig on the books for the moment: Their July 16 headlining slot in the Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Fest at the Hook & Ladder in south Minneapolis.

UltraBomb is a trinational all-star punk band also featuring singer/guitarist Finny McConnell of Canadian Irish band the Mahones and drummer Jamie Oliver of influential British band the U.K. Subs. They recorded their debut album, "Time to Burn," last year in Berlin and are now planning to release it digitally and on CD via DCJam Records July 15, just in time to sell at the Minneapolis show.

Three tracks from the record have been issued online already, including one heavy blaster that definitely merits comparisons to Norton's best-known band, "Stickman vs. Hangman." His Husker Du bandmate Grant Hart died from liver cancer in 2017.

 

Norton apologized to fans who will have to wait longer to see the new trio. The rest of their U.S. dates were also pushed off until fall.

"I am frustrated, as I know you may be feeling disappointed or upset," he wrote. "I was really hoping to be sharing how excited I was to be coming back to play England for the first time in 35 years!"

He also offered this important advice: "For all of my brothers out there, go get tested; it could be a life changer."

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