10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Replacements

Vintage Replacements: Chris Mars, Bob Stinson, Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson
Vintage Replacements: Chris Mars, Bob Stinson, Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson

The return of iconic alt-rockers The Replacements was greeted with glee by a legion of aging Gen-Xers who experienced the band in all of its inebriated glory along with Millennials who’ve only heard all the stories of debauchery and drunkenness that tie into so much of the story’s first go-round. With the reunion tour pulling into Forest Hills this Friday following a number of successful dates at Coachella, Chicago’s Riot Fest and the band’s homecoming gig at St. Paul’s Midway Stadium,  here are a few nuggets about the ‘Mats you might be unaware of.

1. The band’s origins date back to Stinson brothers Bob and Tommy joining forces with high school dropout drummer Chris Mars in a trio called Dogbreath whose repertoire was covers of Yes, Ted Nugent and Aerosmith.

Senator David Denenberger
Senator David Durenberger

2.  When Paul Westerberg met the Stinsons and Mars, he was a janitor working for then-U.S. Senator David Durenberger.

3. Two outtakes from the band’s 1981 debut, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, contain nods to Minneapolis peers Husker Du ( “Something to Du”) and New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders (“Johnny’s Gonna Die”).

4. “Mr. Whirly” from 1983’s Hootenanny parodies The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling,” features the opening bars of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and has the words “mostly stolen” used as the songwriting credit.

5. R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was supposed to produce 1984’s Let It Be but wound up not taking the job when The Replacements met with him in Athens and didn’t have enough material to go into the studio with. Buck wound up cameoing on guitar on “I Will Dare.”

6. When the Replacements performed “Bastards of Young” and “Kiss Me On the Bus” during its appearance on the January 18, 1986 airing of Saturday Night Live, the quartet earned a lifetime ban for cursing on the air along with its overall behavior. Paul Westerberg would return to perform on the show years later as a solo act.

7. Even though the Replacements recorded the song “Alex Chilton” for 1987’s Pleased to Meet Me, the song’s namesake ended up playing guitar on another song on the album (“Can’t Hardly Wait”)

8.  Two outtakes on the 2008 reissue of 1989’s Don’t Tell a Soul are a cover of Slade’s “Gudbuy t’Jane” and “Date to Church,” which features a guest appearance by Tom Waits.

9. Even though 1990’s All Shook Down is technically the Replacements’ seventh studio album, it was originally slated to be Paul Westerberg’s solo debut. The only song the group plays on together for this record is “Attitude.”

10. Prior to the current tour, The Replacements last show together the first time around took place on July 4, 1991 at Chicago’s Grant Park.

The Replacements will be appearing with The Hold Steady and Deer Tick on Sept. 19 at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, 1 Tennis Place, Forest Hills, www.foresthillsstadium.com


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Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of Massapequa Observer and Hicksville News, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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