The words I thought, I brought…

A 1987 issue of Musician featuring an article on “The Real Replacements.”

A 1987 issue of Musician featuring an article on “The Real Replacements.”

Opening spread of 1987 article on The Replacements.

Opening spread of 1987 article on The Replacements.

Digging through my archives, I found a July 1987 issue of Musician magazine, featuring an article on our beloved ’Mats by Bill Flanagan. I wanted to share the damn thing because it’s been collecting dust AND it marks some key changes for the band:

  • The release of Pleased to Meet Me: “The Replacements’ shot at the big time,” says Flanagan.
  • Bob’s departure: “It’s tough,” Westerberg concedes. “Tommy wanted to see Bob straighten up, but he wasn’t and he wouldn’t and he’s gone.”
  • Slim joining the band: “The reason I wanted Slim in the band was to replace my brother. We couldn’t have some guy from L.A. with hair down to his butt come in. It had to be someone I liked,” says Tommy.

Flanagan visited the ’Mats in Minneapolis, just after they infamously threw the Twin/Tone tapes of their early albums in the Mississippi River. The overall tone of the article is intimate, a little dark, but also funny and raucous. Hey, kinda like the band themselves!

Download a PDF of the sidebar, in which the boys talk guitars and amps etc.

If there’s enough interest in this article, I’ll get off my ass and fix my scanner and post the whole article. Or, as I just discovered, you can buy the magazine on eBay. I’ll never let my copy go!

“The words I thought I brought I left behind, so NEVERMIND!”

Die Within Your Reach

“Older, cleaner, still fun.” “Self-destructive…unruly as ever.” “Beautifully ramshackle.” These are just some of the recent media headlines coming out of the ’Mats show in San Francisco. My vote: the last one. Spot on! Of course, I still can’t get the Portland show outta my…

The party is NOT OVER!

early-mats-record

In fact, some would say the party’s just beginning…bring your own lampshade to Friday’s show in Portland!

So, I got the above record after a screening of the film “Color Me Obsessed” a while back (thank you Jackpot Records). It’s so f’in great, I don’t even know where to begin. The only other ’Mats I have on vinyl is Tim (from my father-in-law, more on that in another post) and the Songs for Slim LP. The rest of the ’ole collection is on cassette and yes, they still work!

Why is this record so special? Evidently, it was limited to a pressing of 400, and features outtakes from their early recordings (duh!). This one is on blue vinyl, but I’ve seen it online in red/hot pink too. Why you need this record:

mats-notes

Arguably the best track on the damn thing is “If You Get Married,” mainly ’cuz you can’t find that song anywhere else. It’s tender, poignant and still has balls. Also, I AM a girl, and love it when Paul wears his heart on his sleeve. But I digress.

early-mats-back

Please note: this album was not produced by ALEX CHILTON.

Buy this album on Discogs.

The last, best band of the 80s

cover-musician-matsmusician-spreadmusician-tommy musician-paul-page musician-trash-room

What a great cover. There’s the band, in all their ragged glory.

I bought this issue of Musician magazine in 1989, as soon as it came out. Years later, I learned that Jon Bon Jovi wrote a letter to Musician, asking, “How can the Replacements be the best band of the 80s when I’ve never even heard of them?”

Jon — you answered your own question, ya knob! Go fuck yourself.

But seriously now, this cover story remains significant as it tells the band’s coming of age story—from their early days in the Minneapolis punk/hardcore “scene” to “Professional whats, I don‘t know,” as Paul quips during the interview. I’ve read this story about 50 times, and with each read I learn something new. And I still love staring at that photo of Tommy “shootin’ dirty pool.”

It also marks a turning point for the band. When this issue came out, Don’t Tell a Soul just hit the racks. The Replacements were seemingly on the verge, and this article served to give them a push. Too bad it didn’t work. Or is it?

Coming soon, scans of the full article, so you can actually read the damn thing.

Live, incarnated (and inconcerated)


There are many incarnations of The Replacements. There are also many opinions as to which incarnation is the greatest.

I’ll be honest—it depends on my mood.

Today, what I really needed was plenty of thrash, with a little rockabilly and attitude thrown in. That means the original incarnation in their humble beginning. ’81 ’Mats, courtesy of Twin/Tone (twintonedigital on YouTube).

“During the first week of September 1981, Twin/Tone took the mobile recording unit and rented a bunch of video gear and recorded 15 bands live (five nights) at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis. These clips are presented as they were recorded live… in set order and very much with the tuning that troubled the night. The Replacements were the middle band of three (Husker Du closed the show) and played two 25 minute sets,” is the official statement on their YT channel.

What I’ve always loved about this footage is just how well it captures the ’Mats raucous spirit. Tommy is like, 14; Bob’s playing is solid and dangerous, Chris is a snarling drum MACHINE (that’s not a dis) and baby-faced Paul is sweating, screaming and still seems gentle somehow.

Favorite cuts: part 3 kicks off with “Johnny’s Gonna Die,” arguably the best track on Sorry Ma…just listen to Paul scream! A while later, they cover “Maybelline.” And don’t miss “I Hate Music,” another gem. Does it get any better than this?

Click on the video above to start watching the entire six-part series. Kudos to Twin/Tone for recording all this, and for sharing it!