R is for The Replacements

The ReplacementsSo it is true right, The Replacements are going to be playing Day 2 of the Summers End Music Festival here in Tempe on September 27? I have only seen this band one time and I have to admit, since this was more than 25 years ago I was mildly (cough, cough) hammered that night and don’t remember a hell of a lot. Therefore, an opportunity to see this band again decades later is going to feel like my actual first chance seeing them. To say I am stoked is a severe understatement!

The ‘Mats were alternative rock long before that was a trendy term. Not many bands were capable of creating down and dirty rock and roll with the punk edge and serious pop hooks that they did and to be honest, to even tag the “punk rock” label on the band is a bit of an injustice. The Replacements to me were the epitome during their original run of “garage rock” and the spirit of that genre was evident in the studio and more important, whenever the band played live. A ‘Mats show was an adventure and you never quite knew what you were going to get on any given night. It was not uncommon, especially during the early years of the band for Paul Westerberg and company to deliver a set that contained more covers than originals. I still have a copy of The Shit Hits the Fans, a cassette only 1985 release of a show in Oklahoma City in 1984. It was terrible and awesome all at the same time and I loved every second of it.

The Stink EP, the Hootenanny LP and the Let it Be album are all great but for this listener it was 1985’s Tim that really made me a big fan. Two years later when I picked up Pleased to Meet Me I went nuts. Side One of that album is absolutely mind-blowing and Westerberg was in prime songwriting form. When I finally made the switch to buying CDs instead of cassettes once I was in college that album and Husker Du’s Warehouse: Songs and Stories were the first two albums I bought on CD when ZIA Records was still on 7th Avenue and Montecito in the Melrose District of Phoenix. Memories …

When searching for a video from The Replacements for this post I wanted to use a live clip from the band’s first show since the 2013 reunion that was not at a festival, September 13th at Midway Stadium in St. Paul. It is really cool that the band’s first non-festival appearance was also their homecoming and if Summer’s End was not happening I would have made the trip to hang with my buddies Duane and Doug at that show. Unfortunately every live clip I found the sound quality stunk, so instead I will just give you a chance to hear my favorite song from Tim, “Kiss Me on the Bus”.

9 days from today may be too long … Cheers!

Album Inspiration: Tim

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