News Segment


June 20, 2005

NEW YORK (Billboard) – Karl Mueller, bassist and founding member of the Minneapolis-based rock act Soul Asylum, died Friday at his home, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. He was 41.

Diagnosed with throat cancer in May 2004, Mueller underwent radiation treatment and was said to have been in and out of the hospital in recent months.

In the early 1980s, Mueller formed Loud Fast Rules with singer/guitarist Dave Pirner and drummer Dan Murphy, a band that became Soul Asylum three years later. After a period of underground notoriety, the band achieved mainstream success with its 1992 breakthrough, “Grave Dancers Union” (Columbia).

The album peaked at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 2.14 million copies in the United Stated, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set featured the single “Runaway Train,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Hot 100.

Mueller’s cancer was in remission in October when such veterans of the Minneapolis music scene as the Replacements’ Paul Westerberg and Husker Du’s Bob Mould staged a benefit concert to help with spiraling medical costs. Mueller also joined his bandmates for a Soul Asylum performance at the show.

The Star Tribune reports that Mueller, Pirner and Murphy recorded a new Soul Asylum album earlier this year and had been “negotiating with a major label” for its release.

A memorial service will be held at noon Wednesday at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel in Minneapolis.

In Mueller’s paid obituary in the Star Tribune, Pirner, Murphy and former Soul Asylum road manager Bill Sullivan are listed as “bandmates and brothers,” even though the bassist was an only child. He is survived by his wife, Mary Beth, and his mother, Mary.

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