Karl Mueller, bassist for rock band Soul Asylum, died of throat cancer June 17 in Minneapolis. He was 41.
With Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy, Mueller started playing in 1981 as Loud Fast Rules before evolving into Soul Asylum in 1984 with the album, “Say What You Will Clarence … Karl Sold the Truck” for Twin/Tone Records of Minneapolis.
Along with Husker Du and the Replacements, Soul Asylum were one of Minneapolis’ top acts since the mid-1980s, rising to national prominence in the early ’90s with the hits “Black Gold” and “Runaway Train.” After making three albums for Twin/Tone, it graduated to a major label, A&M, recording two more albums before moving to Columbia in ’92 for “Grave Dancers Union,” the quartet’s biggest seller.
The band released three more CDs for Columbia, the most recent being last year’s live recording “After the Flood: Live from the Grand Forks Prom June 28, 1998.”
An all-star benefit was held for Mueller last year, featuring Paul Westerberg of the Replacements, Bob Mould and Grant Hart of Husker Du, the reunited Gear Daddies and Soul Asylum.
It was his last gig, though he continued to work in the recording studio.
Soul Asylum completed a new album this year, with Mueller and new drummer Michael Bland. The band has been in negotiations to release it on a major label early next year.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Beth and his mother.