Monday, February 4, 2008

Torn and Frayed: The Story of the Replacements' Pleased to Meet Me

Posted By on Mon, Feb 4, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Via a MySpace bulletin, here's a link to a long (but fascinating) story about the making of the Replacements' 1987 album Pleased to Meet Me. An excerpt:

By the time the Replacements arrived in Memphis in January of 1987, they were just barely a band, which was fitting, because according to producer and raconteur Jim Dickinson, they didn’t go to Memphis to make an album at all. In fact, Dickinson says, the group had split up in the wake of lead guitarist Bob Stinson’s expulsion for being the most wasted guy in a very wasted group.

The Replacements previous album, 1985’s Tim, was their first for a major label after six years in the indie trenches and it had ratcheted up their notoriety thanks to now-classic songs like “Bastards of Young” and “Kiss Me on the Bus.” They performed both for their big network TV debut on Saturday Night Live, but mouthing obscenities into the cameras, dropping their instruments, and getting stumbling drunk got them banned from the show forever. In general their reputation for sloppy-stewed live performances didn’t endear them to the authority figures of the entertainment world.

But guitarist-songwriter Paul Westerberg, bassist Tommy Stinson, and drummer Chris Mars never really cared about any authority figures—except maybe their rock and roll heroes. Which is why, after apparently deciding they couldn’t go on without, and especially with, Tommy’s older brother, they decided to regroup when the opportunity arose to record some demos with Memphis music legend Alex Chilton.

I thought the SNL stuff used to be on YouTube, but it's not. Instead, here's a soundcheck from 1986 of the band doing "Bastards of Young."

-- Annie Zaleski

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