J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Notes From Underground - #33
Relax, It's Tuesday


In the sultry summer of 1981, I certainly wasn't very aware of the world beyond my mother, father and crib. The closest I came to being a 'punk' and a burden to society was the fact that I was born 9 pounds, 12 ounces - I'm sure my mother had fun with that. I certainly wouldn't have been aware of a record called Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash and I wouldn't have even known the phrase 'the Replacements,' let alone who they were. Now, nearly twenty seven years later, a whole slate of re-issues of their seminal early albums is set for release, it's been thirteen years since their founding lead guitarist became a rock and roll ghost, and the fact that I was nine, nearly ten, when they broke up seems less consequential by the day.

I can't remember exactly when I first heard the Replacements. Thankfully there seems to be documentary evidence in the form of my first letter to the Skyway, an online Replacements fan community and newsletter. You have to scan down about halfway through the file, but there I am, in all my sixteen year old glory, raving about the band:

I first got into them when I was cruising the 45-vinyl section at my local music store. I saw the 45 for "I'll Be You w/ Date To Church" by The Replacements. I'd heard of them before, and decided to pick it up. What I found, I was blown away by. I immediately racked my BMG catalogue for their stuff.

I also went on to list them as one of my three favorite bands - alongside Toad the Wet Sprocket and Tool. Times change. But not my love for the 'Mats.

Earlier this week, Monday to be precise, marked the anniversary of Bob Stinson's death. At the age of 35, Stinson had been out of the band he helped found since 1986, and a history of drug and alcohol abuse finally took its toll. I have a diary book, which I never have used, that I decorated with pictures of favorite bands of mine. Taped across one side is Bob Stinson's obituary from Rolling Stone. Paul Westerberg, author of "Hold My Life," one of the best and most appropriate songs ever written about Bob Stinson, at least until he would write "Good Day" as a result of Stinson's death, was quoted as saying "It hurt as much as if we weren't expecting it."

Bob Stinson was, in a lot of ways, the soul of the Replacements. While Westerberg was its heart, without Bob it was a different band - not worse, not better, just different. Though some of you may disagree - I've read plenty of people who just don't put up with anything after Tim. So, in memory of his passing, and as an invite for you to share your favorite Bob Stinson/Replacements moments, enjoy the hodge podge of Replacements-Bob related things below. In addition to the previously mentioned songs, I've also included my favorite Bob Stinson guitar moment from his albums with the band. Leave yours in the comments.

P.S. When Paul sings the line "Hold my life, one last time" in "Good Day," it's an official tear-jerking moment for me. It's just too good.

P.P.S. Identify the column title's allusion and I'll give you a hearty slap on the back.

The Replacements - "Hold My Life" (from Tim)

Paul Westerberg - "Good Day" (from Eventually)

The Replacements - "Gimme Noise" (from Stink)

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