"But the fact is, I think, is we were a great little garage band - and that´s what I want to be remembered for." So says Paul Westerberg, and he´s right of course. Although the late Bob Stinson maybe on the mark as well by debunking the whole thing in his typical fashion as "Replacements, shmeplacements".
I just finished All Over But The Shouting, an oral history by Jim Walsh (Voyageur Press). A fun book I found impossible to put down, filled to the brim with remembrances and anecdotes on what was undisputedly one of the greatest bands of the eighties. It´s not definitive or perfect, but then again, the Mats themselves never were either, right? As it´s not a straight biography but more or less a rather fragmented collection of quotes it´s sometimes hard to know just where you are in the band´s history. Also, as the tons of people who contributed are all insiders you need to have at least a basic knowledge of Replacements lore to really enjoy it.
If you´re a fan though, you´ll love this. Probably the funniest quote in the book is by the daughter of guitarist Slim Dunlap. She remembers: "The ironic thing is, when Bob Stinson left the band I was crushed because they were my favorite band, and in my mind they were disbanding. And then my dad joined them." Cool or what? So grab yourself a beer or two, crank up the stereo and start reading. And here are some personal faves by way of a soundtrack: Johnny´s Gonna Die is from Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash, Answering Machine from Let It Be, Here Comes A Regular from Tim, and If Only You Were Lonely is a b-side. "Somewhere there´s a drink with my name on it..." The Replacements: when they were good, they were very very good. And I´ll drink to that.
Replacements - Johnny´s Gonna Die MP3
Replacements - Answering Machine MP3
Replacements - Here Comes A Regular MP3
Replacements - If Only You Were Lonely MP3