Bumbershoot Guide 2014
An Illustrated Guide to the Replacements
The Replacements are a Minneapolis band that basically invented alternative rock and the concept of dudes being able to get fucked up but have feelings at the same time.
Bob Stinson (guitarist, 19 years old) and his younger brother Tommy Stinson (bassist, 12 years old) formed a band with Chris Mars (drummer, 18 years old) and called themselves Dogbreath. A young Paul Westerberg had just stopped attending high school and was working as a janitor when he joined the band. He steered them in a more punk direction, teaching them what basically amounted to Johnny Thunders songs with slight tweaks and convincing the band to change the name to the Impediments. The name the Impediments lasted only until a wasted gig got them banned from a venue, after which they became the Replacements. Their demo tape caught the ear of Twin/Tone Records, and they were signed to the label in 1980.
Not quite punk and not quite plain ol' rock 'n' roll, the Replacements' first two releases—the LP Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash and the EP Stink (so when you picked up the album, it read "The Replacements Stink," LOL)—were coined as "power trash." Their next album, Hootenanny, had Westerberg's songwriting skills wandering in a more sensitive direction, but it wasn't until the 1984 album Let It Be (ha-ha) that his ability to translate youthful pain and angst and general weird/bad feelings into gut-wrenching hits really reached its stride. His raw-voiced croon was capable of making even the drunkest punks long for a love they had yet to experience.
Despite substance-abuse-related disaster shows, the Replacements were "ready" for a major label and signed to Sire in 1985. The rest of their career goes as follows: Good songs/great songs/rehab/members get fired or quit/so-so songs/drugs/drinking/inability to play/Pleased to Meet Me/sobriety/bad songs/worse songs/the Replacements play their last show in 1991/Paul Westerberg does some solo stuff/the Replacements reunite with Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson/Bumbershoot.