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18 October, 2014

HOT METRO FINDS: The Replacements Make A Comeback

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Get your hankies out to dry your eyes. THE REPLACEMENTS ARE BACK !!  There is a good chance that some of you never even missed them because you simply never heard of them. This goes back before the EMO thing — at least a good couple of decades. I missed them because I remember how great they were and the promise that their music brought to the masses. But it fizzled out too quickly over a couple of really unfortunate events.

The rocking Minneapolis band was banned for life from 30 Rock in New York City after a drunken performance on Saturday Night Live. This took them down a few notches from the serious rock contender role. Despite all this they were still a favorite with rock journalists and even received high praise from Rolling Stone Magazine for the albums, “Let It Be”, “Tim” and “Pleased to Meet Me”. I eventually caught up with them on the, “Don’t Tell A Soul” tour at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. By that time they had replaced guitarist Bob Stinson with Slim Dunlap. Stinson was dropped from the band due to drug and alcohol problems and later died.

The band did a followup album with, “All Shook Down” which didn’t really make any waves. By that point there were many bands taking the reign on the Alternative Rock front including Husker Du, Mudhoney, The Cure, Sonic Youth and so many others. There was another release with B-sides and rare material in the 90’s and then there was nothing. The band famously broke up on stage in Chicago. Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke and there was no news from the band until 2013.

The Replacements played Riot Fest 2013 in Chicago and resurfaced. There was a lot of interest there and fans buzzed about a possible tour and now it’s finally happened.  Just recently The Replacements were welcomed back to 30 Rock in New York on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The long exile was over and the band was playing live on national TV to the masses. This was a big moment for them. They appeared on the same show as Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards that night, (who was oddly pitching his children’s book of all things).

The audience went wild — this was big stuff. The next thing I know rock journalists blurted out the name of this amazing track they performed on stage as, “Whats That Song !!” which is totally wrong. The name of that song was actually – “Alex Chilton” and its off the album, “Pleased to Meet Me” which came out on Sire records in 1987.  Got that? It’s hardly new.

They were classified as punk music or Alternative by the press. The Replacements themselves just classified themselves as rock music, (this is pretty common for most punk bands including the LA punk bands and even Billy Idol himself).

** NOTE:  The Replacements went on the road for a few gigs this summer and joined up with Deer Tick. We mentioned earlier in our posts that Deer Tick had a lot of similarities with The Replacements.

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