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Alex Chilton’s rarely heard ‘tribute’ song for the Replacements
01.12.2018
08:50 am
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Alex Chilton
 
One of the most beloved songs by the Replacements is “Alex Chilton”. This hook-filled number from their 1987 LP, Please To Meet Me, is a tribute to Memphis musician and fabled cult hero, Alex Chilton (Box Tops, Big Star). It’s been performed during virtually every ‘Mats concert since its release. This includes their 2013-2015 reunion, in which it carried a new weight, as Chilton had passed away in 2010. In 2014, the Replacements appeared on The Tonight Show, and “Alex Chilton” is what they played.

Replacements leader Paul Westerberg first met Alex Chilton at a 1984 gig in New York City. Westerberg, not knowing exactly what to say, blurted out, “I’m in love with that one song of yours—what’s that song?” Chilton would produce the demos for the next Replacements album, Tim (1985), and sang back-up on their ode to college radio, “Left of the Dial”.
 
The Replacements
 
The Replacements recorded Pleased To Meet Me in Memphis at Ardent Studios, the same studio as Big Star. The man behind the board was Jim Dickinson, who produced the storied third Big Star album. Alex came into the studio a few times while the Replacements were working on the record (and laid down a guitar fill for “Can’t Hardly Wait”), but the band avoided the awkwardness of playing “Alex Chilton” whenever AC was around. Chilton eventually heard the track while on tour with the ‘Mats in April of ’87. He conceded that it was “a pretty good song,” and seemed to appreciate the gesture, which was to both honor him and increase his exposure. 
 
Maxwell's
Westerberg and Chilton during an AC gig at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey, on November 20th, 1987.

Alex penned his own tribute, of sorts, for the Replacements. During a gig that took place at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa on October 23rd, 1987, Chilton performed the half-finished, “I’m a Replacement.” Not much is known about the tune, other than what AC tells the audience, and there are no other known recordings of the bluesy number. It’s been called a “spoof answer song,” which sounds about right to me. It’s definitely tongue-in-cheek.
 
Have a listen, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Bart Bealmear
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01.12.2018
08:50 am
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‘The Minneapolis Sound,’ local TV report from 1988 on Prince, Hüsker Dü and the Replacements


 
The second half of this local TV report on “The Minneapolis Sound,” broadcast on KTCA in 1988, has been on YouTube for some time, but earlier this year, one “Prince Rogers Nelson” uploaded an intact copy of the full program to Dailymotion.

I’ve grown so used to encountering music in the imaginary, racialized categories of marketers, radio programmers and record store owners, which still present punk and R&B as if they came from different planets. It’s refreshing to see Hüsker Dü and the Replacements presented as just two bands from Minneapolis, less popular than Prince and better-known than the Jets.

The Purple One declined to be interviewed for the special. Instead, there are glimpses of how he was perceived in his hometown, some sweet—three hockey players trying to sing “Purple Rain”—and some enraging, like the the smirking Twin Cities policeman at 4:50 who can’t control his laughter at the idea of listening to Prince: “I think he’s a fag.” The ‘Mats also refused to talk to KTCA, but Morris Day, Alexander O’Neal, the Hüskers and the Jets all appeared on camera, along with the Wallets and Ipso Facto. This was the very end of the road for Hüsker Dü; their segment ends abruptly with a one-sided phone conversation. “What? Hüsker Dü broke up? Why?
 

 
Early in the show, the critic John Rockwell talks about discrete black and white music scenes going on in the city simultaneously, but it looks to me like the membrane separating them was exceedingly porous. Describing this period in his memoir, Mould writes:

Minneapolis was the “it” city, and the buzz was deafening. South side, you had Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, and Soul Asylum. North side, there was Prince, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Alexander O’Neal, and Morris Day.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.12.2017
09:43 am
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Get it on: The Replacements cover glam rock king Marc Bolan on legendary 80s bootleg
10.05.2017
08:38 pm
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The Replacements + Marc Bolan
 
Cover tunes have always been an element of live performances by the Minneapolis band, the Replacements. For decades, their only official live album has been the cassette-only release, The Shit Hits the Fans. Confiscated from a fan bootlegging a 1984 gig, it’s a covers-heavy set—everything from the Carter Family and the Jackson 5 to Robyn Hitchcock and Tom Petty. Many are requests from the audience, with the ‘Mats acting as a kind of human jukebox.

Though they didn’t cover them that night, the band had a particular affection for the English group, T.Rex. The Replacements covered a number of T.Rex tunes, including one they recorded in the studio and put out as a B-side. On the surface, it seems the two groups are very different. The Replacements were outsiders, never all that comfortable in the limelight, while Marc Bolan, the leader of T.Rex, was the first glam rock superstar and fully embraced his fame.

I reached out to the Replacements’ first manager, Peter Jesperson, to see if he could shed light on the group’s affection for Bolan and the songs of T.Rex.

How did the Replacements come to record/release their version of “20th Century Boy”?:

Peter Jesperson: Like most bands as they’re first getting together, the Replacements started out primarily doing covers of other people’s songs. Even after they began doing original material, a cover could be the most impassioned and exciting performance in the live set. If memory serves, the first time we recorded one for real was “Rock Around the Clock” during the Stink sessions in 1982. In 1983, as we were recording tracks for what became the Let It Be album, several cover ideas were considered and recorded. The two that turned out the best were “Black Diamond” by KISS and “20th Century Boy” by T.Rex. We figured one should go on the album and one on the flip of the single, “I Will Dare.” I clearly remember having a discussion about which one should go where and we all agreed that putting the KISS song on the album would be less expected, less “cool,” so that’s what we did.
 
I Will Dare
 
Why do you think they were so drawn to the T.Rex material?:

Peter Jesperson: All the guys in the Replacements were big fans of simple, catchy songs and T.Rex certainly fit that bill, but I seem to remember it was Paul [Westerberg] who especially liked them, especially the singles. I had the Bolan Boogie compilation, which had the semi-obscure B-side “Raw Ramp” on it, and I remember him asking me to play it quite often. The band toyed around a bit with that one, “Bang A Gong” and maybe “Jeepster,” but the only two they did seriously were “Baby Strange” and “20th Century Boy.”

Was the period in which Westerberg wore eye make-up on stage inspired at all by Bolan?:

Peter Jesperson: I never heard Paul credit anyone specifically with inspiring the make-up so I’m only guessing but I’d say it was bands like Alice Cooper, the New York Dolls, T.Rex, and later the Only Ones, that inspired the make-up.

                                                              *****
 
Paul makeup
 
In 1973, “20th Century Boy” came out as a standalone T.Rex single and went to #3 on the UK chart. It didn’t come out in America until 1985, when it was included on the stellar comp, T.Rextasy: The Best of T. Rex, 1970-1973.
 
20th Century Boy
 
The “I Will Dare” single, with “20th Century Boy” and a live rendition of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’” on the flip, came out in 1984, ahead of Let It Be. “20th Century Boy” can currently be found amongst the bonus tracks on the 2008 reissue of Let it Be.
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.05.2017
08:38 pm
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That time the Replacements & Tom Waits got shit-faced during an impromptu recording session, 1988
07.10.2017
11:17 am
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The Replacements and Tom Waits
 
In 1988, the Replacements met Tom Waits. Unsurprisingly, they got really drunk together, but they also had an impromptu studio session, which resulted in a B-side. Many years later, more of the recordings were unexpectedly included on a digital-only release.

At the time, Waits had recently been talking up the band during interviews. The man liked the cut of their jib, their unpredictability: “They’re question marks.” Replacements leader Paul Westerberg had been a Waits fan for years, and told the press that the loungey “Nightclub Jitters” (from 1987’s Please to Meet Me) was inspired by Waits and the liquored-up beatnik persona he embodied on his ‘70s records.

During the late summer of ’88, the Replacements began recording at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, for what would become their seventh album, Don’t Tell a Soul (1989). While on a break, the unit learned a label rep they were friendly with was working with Waits. Westerberg jumped at the chance to meet Waits, and a gathering was arranged.

The band got together with Waits and his wife and collaborator Kathleen Brennan at the Formosa Café in West Hollywood. Though Waits and Westerberg could both be shy in such situations, they hit it off grandly. Waits was particularly enamored of [guitarist Slim] Dunlap, who seemed like a character straight out of one of his own songs.

The band invited Waits back to Cherokee to hear their new tracks. “Waits’ wife was with him, and he was being really mild-mannered,” recalled Matt Wallace [producer of Don’t Tell a Soul]. “And the band is drinking a lot, of course.” Around midnight, Brennan got tired and taxied home. The moment she left Waits reached for a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and began chugging. “And he just turned into Tom Waits,” said Wallace. “It was like Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.” (from Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements)

In spite of (or because of?) their inebriated condition, they managed to capture a number of songs, drinking and recording until the break of dawn. Over the course of the evening, they tried out each other’s material, with Westerberg singing “Ol’ 55,” the Waits composition famously recorded by the Eagles, while Waits took on “If Only You Were Lonely,” the B-side of the Replacements’ debut 45. They even played a new Replacements song, “We Know the Night,” with Westerberg, Waits, and Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson all chiming in vocally.

They also jammed, resulting in one they’d call “Lowdown Monkey Blues,” in which Westerberg and Waits improvised the lyrics (with Westerberg throwing in a bit of the Replacements rarity, “Hear You Been to College”), and the gospel stomper, “Date to Church,” featuring some mighty-fine eulogizing courtesy of Waits. The latter would later appear as the B-side of “I’ll Be You,” the first single from Don’t Tell a Soul.
 
Date to Church
Note the songwriting credit.

Over the ensuing years, Westerberg occasionally talked publicly about the session with Waits, claiming someone involved had the only copy of the recordings, though he didn’t say who had the tape.

Continues after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.10.2017
11:17 am
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The Replacements get drunk (surprise!) on MTV, 1989
04.28.2017
01:00 pm
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Shortly after the release of Don’t Tell a Soul in 1989, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson of the Replacements consented to an interview with MTV’s Kurt Loder. I’ve noticed that a few people are suffering from the misapprehension that the Replacments had gotten sober around this time—this video should be enough to convince anyone that this was not the case.

Westerberg and Stinson are funny and charming as fuck and don’t take a damn thing seriously. Loder’s first question involves the band having taken a “new direction” on the latest album—invoking “Gepetto,” Westerberg blurts “Well, we’re ‘mature’ now…..” while pantomiming his nose growing by three feet.

While Loder is inordinately interested in topics that retrospectively seem entirely uninteresting—music videos, the joys of residing in California, sampling, and how the 1980s will stack up in the annals of music history—Westerberg and Stinson ain’t buying.

The ‘Mats had long enjoyed an informal competition with R.E.M. ever since opening for the Athens indie rockers on a mini-tour in the summer of 1983—and this competition was quite mutual, Peter Buck paid close attention to the Replacements’ releases. In Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, Bob Mehr reports that Westerberg was initially relieved that Don’t Tell a Soul was so much better than Green, but R.E.M.‘s album rapidly hit gold while sales of Don’t Tell a Soul never got off the ground. Westerberg makes a crack to the effect that apparently only “half the people who bought the last one” chose to plunk down their cash for Don’t Tell a Soul.

More of the ‘Mats, after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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04.28.2017
01:00 pm
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‘We’re addicted to making fools of ourselves’: The Replacements’ ‘shaved eyebrows’ interview, 1987
03.28.2016
09:30 pm
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The Replacements had a reputation for unpredictable live shows—gleefully raucous one night, drunk and disorderly the next. With the 1986 sacking of founding lead guitarist Bob Stinson—a move the band made, in part, due to his increasingly erratic behavior—many assumed the ‘Mats would clean up their act.

With new guitarist Slim Dunlap in tow, the unit hit the road in the spring of 1987 in support of their latest LP, Pleased To Meet Me. Though they were indeed more reliable, the band didn’t exactly get sober, and they could still flop like murder on stage, especially if there was something at stake. For a June gig in L.A., in which numerous staff from their record label were in attendance, they rose to the occasion by performing a set of songs that consistently didn’t reach the finish line (reportedly only one was seen to completion), and handing off their instruments to audience members. They would return to the west coast for a final run of dates in December, with pals the Young Fresh Fellows as their openers, culminating with a now legendary disaster of a show in Portland (the night ended with the Replacements playing in their underpants). ‘Mats ringleader Paul Westerberg felt so bad about the performance that he wrote the song “Portland” as an apology.
 
Portland
Members of both bands on stage during the infamous Portland gig.

Prior to the concluding shows of the Pleased To Meet Me outing, the Replacements were having drinks with Scott McCaughey, the singer/guitarist of the Young Fresh Fellows. Perhaps the rigors of touring (along with the alcohol) had gotten to them, as the boys decided to do something most wouldn’t do if you paid them: They shaved their eyebrows. The episode was recounted in Bob Mehr’s fantastic biography, Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements.

On December 1st, the band was hanging out at Seattle’s Mayflower Hotel bar with Scott McCaughey when Westerberg suggested they all shave their eyebrows. “By the time we actually got done with it,” said bassist Tommy Stinson, “the feisty stage was over, and it was like, ‘Oh . . . shit. I’m going to bed. I hope this goes away by the time I wake up.’ It didn’t.”

McCaughey later recalled that his eyebrows took months to grow back and that he looked like a “cretin” without them.
 
Horsing around
The Replacements and the Young Fresh Fellows horsing around in 1987. Note: Eyebrows still intact.

The below interview with the Replacements was recorded for MTV’s The Cutting Edge Happy Hour, hosted by Peter Zaremba of the Fleshtones. The show taped in Hollywood, so the segment was likely videoed when the band rolled through Southern California a few days after the Seattle incident. Looking as they did—ragged from the road and just plain weird without their eyebrows—most groups would’ve cancelled a scheduled television appearance, but not the Replacements. After all, this is the rock-n-roll combo that took the concept of shooting yourself in the foot and made it into an art form.

A variety of topics are covered in the clip—as well as excerpts from their contrary videos—including the elephant in the room: Why’d they shave their eyebrows? According to Westerberg, they did it in order to prank McCaughey’s band-mates.

But who was the joke really on?!
 
Paul Westerberg
 
The picture quality ain’t the greatest, but it’s classic ‘Mats, so just watch it already.
 

 

 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The Replacements incite a riot: An exclusive excerpt from the great new biography ‘Trouble Boys’

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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03.28.2016
09:30 pm
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The Replacements incite a riot: An exclusive excerpt from the great new biography ‘Trouble Boys’
02.29.2016
09:08 am
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Trouble Boys
 

Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, the highly anticipated biography of the legendary Minneapolis group, is out this week. Author Bob Mehr has done nothing less than pen the definitive ‘Mats bio, and Dangerous Minds has an exclusive excerpt.

The Replacements had a reputation for rowdy, drunken performances, and our excerpt from Trouble Boys details a show in Houston that just might be their wildest gig ever. It takes place in the fall of 1985, during the early stages of the Tim tour. Bassist Tommy Stinson had recently been arrested for public intoxication prior to a show in Norman, Oklahoma, spending the night in jail.

The rising action of the tour reached its climax a few nights later in Houston, where the ’Mats played the Lawndale Art Annex.

It was an unusual venue for the band—a couple of miles from the University of Houston campus, it was basically an old warehouse the school used for more highbrow art events. The gig’s promoter, Tom Bunch, had been booking hardcore and punk shows in the city for several years, working with Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys (he would go on to manage the Butthole Surfers) without any problems.

The Replacements had sold some 600 tickets in advance to a mix of punk scenesters and college kids. The latter demographic was making up a more noticeable chunk of the band’s audience. “Hey, Greeks! If you like Springsteen, R.E.M. or U2, you’ll love the Replacements!” ran a show ad in one student newspaper that autumn.

There was also an increasingly large contingent of rubberneckers. “The audience no longer exclusively consisted of people who ‘got it,’” said Replacements’ soundman Monty Lee Wilkes. “I could see it looking around every night. There were the people that had come solely to see the car crash. You’d overhear them in the can: ‘I hope they’re not too drunk tonight.’ ‘Oh man, that’s the only way to see them.’ These were the kind of people who would’ve tried to beat up the band at a party two years earlier.”

The Lawndale Annex gig also reunited the Replacements with Alex Chilton, who’d come up from New Orleans to play a couple of shows with the band. Perhaps Chilton’s presence played a part—singer/guitarist Paul Westerberg was always looking to impress him—but that night Paul almost singlehandedly started a riot. “For years I claimed Alex had spiked my drink backstage and put some sort of hallucinogen in it,” said Westerberg, “because my behavior was so off the map.”

From the start, manager Peter Jesperson sensed it was going to be one of those shows. Early on the Tim tour, he’d tried harder to dole out the booze in increments, and not too far in advance. “I’d have to lie to them all the time about that: ‘We can only get a twelve-pack now.’ I was trying to ration it out as best I could.”

In Houston, Chilton asked Jesperson for a lift back to his hotel and to wait while he got ready, then took his time shaving and getting dressed. Meanwhile, the band got its hands on the rest of the liquor: “A bottle of whiskey, a bottle of vodka, two cases of Bud, one of Heineken, and one bottle of red wine,” recalled Bunch. When he went in to check on them a little later, “every bottle was empty. Completely bone dry. I thought, This is going to be interesting.” When Jesperson finally returned, he walked into the dressing room to find the band had “actually embedded bottles of Heineken into the drywall. Not only was the liquor gone, but I was required to get them more.”

 
Paul and Bob
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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02.29.2016
09:08 am
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The Replacements announce new box set with hilarious hand-corrected press release
03.06.2015
11:30 am
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Oh, how I love this. Apart from writing for DM, I make my living as a copyeditor, so I couldn’t help but appreciate the Replacements’ smart, sassy way of announcing the release of an eight-disc box set—a copyedited press release complete with proofreading markup—they insist that the original was sent to them for review (so they kinda threw Rhino’s publicist under the bus, no?). Not too surprisingly, they found a couple glaring mistakes and more than a few lazy constructions. They also used the occasion to bust out a righteous version of the KISS logo.

Here it is—click on the image to see a larger version:
 

 
The box set is called The Complete Studio Albums 1981-1990 and will be released on April 14 via Rhino. The box set will include the band’s seven-album discography, plus 1982’s Stink EP. You can pre-order the box set right now.

The Replacements will soon be hitting a bunch of locations in North America before traveling to Europe in late May. Here are their upcoming tour dates:
 

04-09 Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre      
4/10: Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom      
4/13: San Francisco, CA - Masonic        
4/16: Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium      
4/19: Denver, CO - The Fillmore      
4/29: Chicago, IL - The Riviera Theatre      
4/30: Chicago, IL - The Riviera Theatre      
5/2: Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Ballroom  
5/3: Detroit, MI - The Fillmore      
5/5: Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE          
5/6: Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion              
5/8: Washington, DC - Echostage        
5/9: Philadelphia, PA - Festival Pier          
5/28: Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound  
5/30: Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso      
6/2: London, England - Roundhouse

 
Below, the video press kit for Pleased to Meet Me:
 

 
Thank you Annie Zaleski!

Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.06.2015
11:30 am
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The Replacements censored on live awards show (but get the last laugh), 1989
09.09.2014
08:46 am
Topics:
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The Replacements
 
The collective hearts of Replacements fans everywhere have been aflutter since the announcement that the reunited band would be returning to the small screen, as they are due to appear on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon September 9th. Naturally, there’s been much talk of their infamous Saturday Night Live performance in 1986, when they got drunk, stumbled around, and generally behaved like one would expect the Replacements to have behaved. Singer/guitarist Paul Westerberg even committed the ultimate TV sin, shouting the F-word during “Bastards of Young.” It was awesome. SNL producer Lorne Michaels was, of course, not amused, and reportedly banned the group for life from 30 Rock (The Tonight Show is filmed at the same address and Michaels is the executive producer).

The Replacements only performed in front of television cameras a handful of times, and while there’s no topping the SNL gig, their appearance on a long-forgotten awards show in 1989 is a close second.

ABC aired the International Rock Awards live on May 31st, 1989. Lou Reed, Living Colour (who took home the “Newcomer of the Year” prize), Keith Richards (there to be presented with a “Living Legend” award), and David Bowie’s ill-fated super-group, Tin Machine, all performed at the event. Winners were handed a bronze “Elvis” award.

The reason I was plopped in front of the family television that night was to see my favorite band, the Replacements. I had watched a crappy videotaped copy of the SNL show hundreds of times and was ready for anything. I was excited, to say the least.

The lights lower and an announcer says, “We apologize; here the are: The Replacements.” Wow, a more hilarious (and ultimately fortuitous) opening couldn’t have been imagined. It’s already a classic clip and the band hasn’t played a note! But then “Talent Show” begins and Westerberg walks up to the mic and manages to one up their introduction: “What the hell are we doing here?” And they’re off!

“Talent Show,” from their then most recent album Don’t Tell a Soul, couldn’t have been a better choice for this event. The song—about feeling vulnerable and scared to get up on stage only to be judged by and against your peers—suddenly becomes more literal than intended. The band were booked on a silly awards show with hip young acts and rock royalty, and the Replacements, a group of outsiders and punks at heart, perversely thrived on these sorts of moments. Instead of rising to the occasion and doing their best to “win,” they instead become the little engine that won’t.

But that’s not to say what transpired wasn’t great. Heck, any Replacements fan knows that half the fun is watching the band gleefully launch themselves off the stage ledge, flipping the bird to showbiz protocol. Bassist Tommy Stinson can barely keep from laughing throughout the performance and Westerberg is at least a couple of sheets to the wind—it’s rough and raucous for sure, but isn’t that’s the way its supposed to be?

Before the show, they were told they needed to change the line, “We’re feeling good from the pills we took.” Well, fittingly, Westerberg did no such thing, and the censors were obviously ready for it, as the tape goes silent during that section of the song. What the censors at ABC didn’t anticipate was this: Near the conclusion of “Talent Show” the lyrics address the time when the band hits the stage and there’s no retreating: “It’s too late to turn back, here we go” is repeated twice on the album version, but here Westerberg has changed the line to “It’s too late to take pills, here we go”—ha! The censors missed it and they’ve pissed everyone off again! To add insult, the line is sung three times.

Paul Westerberg
 
The clip ends with a shot of movie star (and big ‘Mats fan) Matt Dillon enthusiastically whistling and clapping in the audience. Perfect.

I imagine the Tonight Show appearance will be a more orderly affair. Heck, it’s been 25 years since the International Rock Awards, the last time they were seen by a national television audience. People mature. Another famous admirer of the group, Keith Richards, will also be on hand (to promote his children’s book!), so the Replacements will surely be on their best behavior. Or not.

Mr. Michaels just might have to institute another lifetime ban. Fingers-crossed!
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Color Me Impressed’: Listen to The Replacements’ 1st show in 22 years!

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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09.09.2014
08:46 am
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Tommy Ramone on The Replacements
07.15.2014
03:17 pm
Topics:
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Clint Weiler at the MVD Entertainment Group was kind enough to alert me this morning to this complete and unedited interview with the late Tommy Ramone (Tommy Erdelyi) that was conducted for Gorman Bechard‘s documentary Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements in 2011.

Erdelyi produced Tim, The Replacements major label debut for Sire Records in 1985. The Ramones drummer, the last surviving member of the original group died at his home in Ridgewood, Queens last week following treatment for cancer of the bile duct.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.15.2014
03:17 pm
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‘Color Me Impressed’: Listen to The Replacements’ 1st show in 22 years!
08.27.2013
11:47 am
Topics:
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Replacements
 
As Music Director of original alternative radio station WFNX/Boston for much of the ‘80’s, I have a few Replacements stories. There was the time, due to record company politics, that my station wasn’t allowed the “co-promote” on their Tim tour stop at the now defunct nightclub, The Channel. As a consolation, the Warner Bros. local promo team put together what remains to this day my all-time fave radio station promotion: “Replace A Replacement!” Entries were collected at local chain Newbury Comics’ locations with one lucky listener winning the grand prize: sing a single song onstage live with The Replacements.

Two years later The Replacements stumbled into the station’s Lynn, MA lobby at 11:00AM for their sole ‘FNX interview. They were completely shitfaced. As they amused themselves by carving up our “Couch of Shame” with the razor blades left lying around for editing audiotape, I couldn’t help but wonder, “These are the guys who threw Bob Stinson out for being a drunk?” (It was then and there they scrawled “This Station Bites” on the above Pleased To Meet Me album cover. Initially I was pissed. Then I thought, “I’ll just take this puppy home”).

Since The Replacements’ bitter splitter in 1991, the possibility of a bona fide reunion became a more unlikely prospect as each year passed. When guitarist Slim Dunlap suffered a massive stroke early last year, it seemed all such hopes were permanently dashed.

Enter Riot Fest founder Mike Petryshyn. Since Mike started the Fest in 2005, he had listed The Replacements as an “it-never-hurts-to-ask” act. Armed with the knowledge that last September Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson had reunited in the studio to record their installment in the “Songs For Slim” benefit series, Mike moved The ‘Mats to the top of this year’s wish list. Per The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, he said, “There was life to the idea pretty early on.”

The main question left was with Slim Dunlap’s inability to perform, founding member guitarist Bob Stinson’s death in 1995 and Chris Mars, depending on with whom you speak has either “retired” from the music biz or was not asked, who would replace The Replacements’ other half? Ubiquitous drummer Josh Freese was almost a given – given he’d recorded and toured with ex-Replacements’ singer/guitarist Paul Westerberg for a slew of his solo albums. Freese and Tommy Stinson shared five years of touring the globe as battery mates in Guns N’ Roses, too. To complete the circle, Freese and guitarist David Minehan, leader of legendary Boston group The Neighborhoods, had both backed Westerberg on several mid-‘90’s solo tours.

If you’re like me, you’re wondering exactly what the hell did Saturday night’s first Replacements’ show after a two decades-plus absence from the stage sounded like. Slicing Up Eyeballs has the goods.

Those interested in helping Slim Dunlap defray the cost of his medical bills & stroke rehab check out Songs For Slim. Also ex-Georgia Satellite Dan Baird set up a means by which fans can donate towards Slim’s cause via PayPal. Baird and Dunlap played together for a bit after the respective demise of both their bands.

Below, The Replacements do “Color Me Impressed’ live at Riot Fest, August 25 2013:
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bruce McDonald
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08.27.2013
11:47 am
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Did you know The Replacements liked to drink?
09.27.2012
02:13 pm
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This photo was taken before band pictures on railroad tracks became a cliche
 
It’s nice to know that in this crazy world, there are some things you can count on; this drunken 1987 radio interview with The Replacements does not disappoint.

Infamous for shooting themselves in the foot professionally with hard partying, frontman Paul Westerberg got sober in 1990, prior to the band’s fizzling breakup. He still produces awesome solo stuff, though he gives off the impression that he’s somehow in hiding because he keeps a pretty low profile these days.

A documentary on the band, Color Me Obsessed: A Film about the Replacements is due out in November; fans await with bated breath!
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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09.27.2012
02:13 pm
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