Another Replacements Reunion Rumor

Mats at 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, 1980I don’t know. This sounds like hype to promote the first round of Replacements reissues that are coming out tomorrow, but according to Billboard, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson are (once again) leaving the door open for a reunion. At least, Tommy’s into it: “I think Paul and I have something to offer each other still. I think that’s pretty obvious when we get together.”

Westerberg? Maybe not so much:

“I’m very hesitant about dragging the name out there and what damage we could do to the legend,” Westerberg offers. “Whatever we did, someone would want something else. If I went up there straight, they’d want us wasted. If we were fucked up, they’d want us to be this or that.

“But, I don’t know,” he continues. “The records hold the key to the whole thing. So if I was ever going to play, I’d like to play once the whole shooting match is out, because I don’t think I could physically get up there and bellow these 18 songs (from) that first record. That’s just sheer youth there. I can’t find that in a bottle or a pill. I’m just too creaky for that.”

Just like back in 2006 when they recorded two new songs for their best of compilation, Josh Freese would sit behind the drums. Now, Billboard is claiming “an unnamed lead guitarist” would round out the lineup. Slim Dunlap, who replaced Bob Stinson, is not even mentioned as a possibility.

18 thoughts on “Another Replacements Reunion Rumor”

  1. So I’ve heard, the reason Slim wasn’t mooted for a reunion is something along the lines of “he didn’t like to be bothered when he was in the ‘Mats, we’re not gonna bother him with this right now”. It was some really weird answer.

    As a ‘Mats fan, I dunno, it could be fun, it could suck. I think that a) a “just-for-the-money” reunion a la the Pixies could suck, or tarnish the rep, but then again, b) why not? Lord knows the Replacements never got rich off the deal.

  2. The Mats are my all-time favorite band, but I’m not jumpin’ up and down for a reunion. I’d love to see Westerberg and Stinson work together in some other context, but I doubt that’s a realistic hope… there would be too much Replacements baggage attached to that. It would be a de facto reunion.

    Anyway, leave the legend be. And Murph, I think they’ve actually seen a little bit of cash in the intervening years on catalog and compilations, but I’m certain they ain’t rich.

  3. Yooz guys know more about the concert biz than I do,

    But with gas at tree-fitty a gallon and many Mats fans now worried about paying for daycare and new sneakers the crowds could be disappointing even at smaller venues.

  4. I think that’s a legitimate concern for any touring act without major sponsorship, label support or $100 tickets. Certainly it would be an issue for any Replacements Mach III tour. And it’s makin’ me worry whether bands like Two Cow Garage and Centro-matic will see any profit from planned West Coast trips later in the year.

  5. “what damage we could do to the legend…”

    Even if they got on stage and said they didn’t remember the songs and didn’t feel like playing and just walked off, would that “damage” the “legend”?

  6. If they’re serious about a reunion Chris Mars has to be on board, IMHO. Otherwise they should just bill themselves as “Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson”. It’s not like people aren’t going to get it. And a true reunion can’t be had with half of the band missing or unavailable, anyway.

  7. For Sven Shady,

    I wouldn’t say The ‘Mats are less popular.

    I’d just say their appeal has become more selective.

  8. i really hope they don’t get back together for a reunion. though, i’ll be first in line to buy a ticket if they do.

    yeah, it’d be nice to see chris mars behind the kit. though, he wasn’t there for the last tour. that was chris foley. so, it was sort of the tom and paul show for the swan song. and while i was happy to see it, it wasn’t really the replacements. it was sort of more like paul heading out on a solo tour with a sloppy backup band.

    i remember always wanting to see big star growing up. i came to the party too late. hell, i was barely alive when big star was around, but i had alex chilton all through my youth. i loved to see him live. though, i still wanted the magic of big star that i built up in my head over the years. when i finally got it, i was let down. yeah, the songs are great, but not as great as i imagined. i found myself wanting to just see alex on his own playing some mess up r’n’b and pop classics from the 60’s with maybe a nod or two to his big star era. i sort of feel that’s what i’ll get if paul and tom drag the carcass of what was the replacements back onto the stage.

  9. The story should be these reissues. Maybe the coolest repackaging ever. The unreleased stuff is way better than these kinds of things usually offer. There is some stunning stuff here. I’m hearing things in the original songs that I never heard before as well. It sounds like Paul mutters “Jespersons Cock” at the tail end of Androgynous.

  10. Vitas: I’ve seen both the Big Star reunion revue (twice) and Alex solo; both experiences are great. I’m guessing from the inference in your post that you’ve seen both, too.

    I think you hit the nail on the head; Paul and Tommy SHOULD work together again; they might do themselves a big favor if they *didn’t* call themselves the Replacements, but still play all those songs.

  11. djmurph – yeah, i’ve seen the reformed big star (three times actually, though don’t get me wrong, i’m not trying to compete. i actually wish i hadn’t seen it that third time) and alex solo countless times. actually, my fave alex show was at a state fair where he did a handful of box tops tunes, some big star, and a a lot of stuff from his late 80’s offerings.

    hey, i’ll buy into whatever paul and tommy do. i always have. even the last go around (where they had the coolest concert t-shirt slogan ever – “the replacements live – funeral directors welcomed.). i just hope they don’t drag out the corpse and throw it out on the stage. they’ll bring just as many fans to the show if it’s just paul and tommy on the marquee than if it were the mats. but like i said before, i’ll be there either way.

  12. I don’t think it matters what they call themselves. Page/Plant can tour as Page/Plant or LedZep and draw the exact same crowd playing the same songs. No-one accuses them of diluting their brand either, no matter how badly they now suck.

  13. I don’t think I’m talking about the size of any crowd. I’ve seen recent footage of Page/Plant and I can’t possibly see how calling themselves Led Zepplin could make that sound better on stage. If so many more people can try to see them suck under that moniker and not care, then the Mats can do whatever they want with no worries. I’m still on topic.

  14. Tell that to Billy Corgan! And the Who!

    Yes, I know. But, all the defining musical characteristics of the Smashing Pumpkins sound are Billy’s and Jimmy’s; half of The Who are dead, Chris Mars is pretty much alive and well.

    Speaking of The Who… they should’ve followed the Zeppelin example and called it quits when their legendary drummer died and not do the never-ending reunion tour for the last quarter century. At least the surviving 3/4 of Zeppelin are joined by a sentimental favorite on drums.

    Oh, and if Paul and Tommy want to cash in now, fine. Nobody–not really, anyway–gave The Pixies grief for it. Now if we could only stop Johnny, Steve, Glen and Paul from further embarrassing themselves…

  15. In the longer version of the Billboard interview with Paul, it definitely sounds like he agrees with Kiko:

    The brand name, the band is what they miss, and people who never saw us, unfortunately, will never get to see what it was, what we were. Because even if we got together and played, it would never be whatever the heck we were supposed to be.

    On talking to Tommy about a possible reunion:

    “Who’s gonna play the f*ckin’ guitar?” It’s been the question from day one, since Bob left the band. […] So we left it like that, sort of hanging there, sort of, like, “Well, we’ll find that guitar player somewhere.” But it’s like, “No we won’t.” He’s dead. And the drummer doesn’t want to play. To me, if we’ve ever gonna do this thing, he should come and play drums. But he doesn’t want to play drums anymore than a guy wants to get on a scooter or a skateboard after he reaches a certain age, and I can dig that. But my bit was a little bit more. And he said, “You have my blessing to go play,” but, for me, without him playing the drums, it wouldn’t be close. Me and Tommy, yeah, we’re the frontmen in the end, and we had Steve and [latter era guitarist] Slim [Dunlap], who were just sort of hired hands. But Chris was a big part of the whole thing, especially in the beginning of the humor and the push-the-envelope chaos. He was very much one of us.

    On the possibility of convincing Chris to play one last tour:

    I don’t think so. If we did it, I’d probably have to play drums, and Chris would have to play guitar, something as absurd as that. He’d probably be up for that. But, you know, I don’t want to put the pressure on him, and make it sound like, “I’m ready to go, as soon as Chris is.”


    And here’s the longer version of Tommy’s interview.

Leave a Reply