There aren’t very many songs left for bands to choose in the AV Club’s Undercover series, but Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel step up to the challange and recruit some friends—including comedian Todd Barry on drums—and take on the Replacements classic.
In my lifetime, I called the offices of Twin/Tone records three times. Once to confirm if the stories I’d heard that the Replacements made off with the master tapes of their Twin/Tone records and thrown them into the Mississippi River (they had—kind of—it was only the copies of the master recordings and not the real thing that they nicked). The other two times was to see if the second Magnolias album, For Rent, would ever be released on compact disc. On both of those discussions—about three years between each one—I was informed “yes” but never provided with a definitive date.
Here it is, over twenty-years later, and still no hint of this Minneapolis landmark and virtually no recorded evidence that the band was on the verge of taking the Replacements’ crown of teenage ambivalence right off the top of their still-working head.
Tommy Stinson tells the Minneapolis StarTribune he had been in town in September to “mess around” with Paul Westerberg and drummer Michael Bland.
He sounded enthusiastic about the sessions and said, “It was a lot of fun.” When I asked if they did any recording, though, he answered, “Nah, that’s getting to first base. We’re sort of still in the dugout chewing gum.” As for the general state of the two former ‘Mats mates relationship, he said, “We’re good friends, and I’m sure we’re going to work together again.”
No word on whether or not Tommy’s made it to first with Paul since then. Let’s hope they go all the way!
The second batch of deluxe Replacements reissues were released on September 23.
Not too many people, according to a Billboard article announcing the expanded reissues of the Replacements‘ final four albums for Sire Records. Buried in the penultimate paragraph, we learn this sad little nugget:
In April, Rhino reissued the Replacements’ first three albums and an EP for hometown Minneapolis label Twin Tone. They’ve since sold 22,000 copies combined in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Only 22,000 copies? Combined? That’s just sad. I realize that everybody already has multiple copies of these things (cassette, vinyl, CD…), but still. I’m surprised Rhino’s even bothering to release the second batch.
I 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.
An amazing document of classic American punk rock. It’s a multi-camera video of an entire 1981 Replacements show. YouTuber THX1968 explains: “Recorded live at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 5th, 1981. The album Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash had been released on August 25th, 1981.”
I think it’s also relevant to point out that bassist Tommy Stinson would be celebrating his 15th birthday a few weeks later on October 6. I know this is a crass cliche, but I actually have underwear that is older than Tommy was in this footage…
Parts 2 through 16 after the jump…
The first round of remastered, expanded Replacements reissues will be released on April 22, 2008, according to Billboard. The albums “were prepped for reissue by Replacements manager Peter Jesperson, with involvement from the surviving band members.”
This batch covers the band’s Twin Tone releases. The next batch, due later this year, will cover their Sire catalog.
Complete bonus material track listing after the jump…
Harp has an excerpt from All Over But the Shouting: An Oral History of the Replacements:
Bob Stinson: It was ’86 and we were doing “Saturday Night Live,” staying at the Berkshire Hotel. I caused all the trouble on that one: I broke the phones, put a hole in the door, threw an ashtray out the window. Lorne Michaels put food and flower baskets in our rooms, free bar tabs–we went to town. I think I’d have to say I abused it more than anybody. They swore no band from Warner Bros. would play on that show again unless we paid the tab on the $1,000 worth of supposed “damage” we did.
I grew up a good ten years after The Replacements were at their height of recognition. I was thirteen years old when they broke up and just in the middle of passing from my New Kids On The Block phase into “grownup” music and they were still too sophisticated to cross my newbie radar. I don’t even remember how I got into them–it was probably that stupid Can’t Hardly Wait movie or something. The point is, however I started buying their albums, they made an indelible impression on my post-teenage soul.
Here was this guy singing in this scratchy as hell voice about girls and being drunk and being lost and misunderstood in the Midwest, and something in me reacted. Something in me wanted to feed Westerberg a sandwich and pet his hair and tell him everything was gonna be okay, but another part of me was screaming along with his every word, screaming “FUCK YES, I AM UNSATISFIED TOO.”
From the September 1986 issue of Creem: Drinking (And Drinking Lots More!) with the Replacements.
CREEM: Does it matter to you personally? Do you really care what the critics think?
PW: I’ll be honest. It does. I’d like to lie and say it means nothing. Not that we think we’re great or anything. We know exactly what we are. We get a giggle out of it, but it makes you feel good.
TS: When it’s someone big and they say we’re good, it makes you feel good—but I never really read any of that stuff about us. Unless someone’s got something bad to say and it’s funny or clever. I get a kick out of someone saying we suck because we’re arrogant little pricks.
PW: You do until they single it out and say you look like a fucking fake rock star. You can take the general bullshit but…
TS: I can take it all.
PW: Yeah, until they say something… you know what I’m saying.
TS: I know what you’re saying.
Tommy Stinson was 19 at the time of this interview. Paul Westerberg was 26.