The Replacements May Not Reunite, And Thank God

mats.jpgBillboard may be phrasing it differently, but it doesn’t sound like the Replacements (or rather, Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg) are likely to reunite any time soon. Says Stinson, “We actually talked about it again this year, and I think there was a consensus that, you know, maybe it wasn’t the right time (to reunite), or maybe it is the right time…There were some things thrown out, and there were other festivals that wanted it too, if we were going to do it. At the last minute, it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do, so we didn’t do it. But I think Paul and I have something to offer each other still. I think that’s pretty obvious when we get together.” Paul sounds even less rosy about the possibility.

“I’m very hesitant about dragging the name out there and what damage we could do to the legend,” Westerberg offers. “Whatever we did, someone would want something else. If I went up there straight, they’d want us wasted. If we were f–ked up, they’d want us to be this or that.

“But, I don’t know,” he continues. “The records hold the key to the whole thing. So if I was ever going to play, I’d like to play once the whole shooting match is out, because I don’t think I could physically get up there and bellow these 18 songs (from) that first record. That’s just sheer youth there. I can’t find that in a bottle or a pill. I’m just too creaky for that.”

While a decade of waiting for Axl to wrap that shit up may make Tommy miss his earlier second-banana situation, Paul seems to realize that fans would be screaming for the Twin/Tone ‘Mats when he’d find it hard enough to dish up the Sire shit. No Chris and Bob, no Chris and Slim, hell, no Steve and Slim. The other half of the band would be Josh Freese and a session guitarist unlikely to give the original pair much help in creating a sound that’s unhinged and energetic. David Johansen and Syl Sylvain brought their A-game on the New York Dolls’ reunion album, but the session musicians were more Paul Schaffer than Johnny Thunders. And the Dolls didn’t have to worry about pleasing fans that wanted to relive hardcore.

Tommy probably has a point when he says he and Paul have something to offer each other. Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli’s Gutter Twins have shown that when old vets are united, they can inspire a little creative competition rather than the standard cult placation. But the Minnesota boys’ solo careers are a lot more All Shook Down than Hootenanny. So unless I’m wrong and the Pitchfork Festival would love to have them run through Don’t Tell A Soul in its entirety, maybe they’d be better off grabbing Alex Chilton for a new supergroup or something. Keep things on a Yep Roc level, rather than Coachella.

Replacements Leaving Door Open For Reunion [Billboard]

  • loudersoft

    Some band were simply meant to self-destruct. The Replacements is such a band. It would be very difficult to imagine this resurrection without thinking about what led to their eventual demise in the first place.

  • Ned Raggett

    I hear Mudcrutch needs an opener.

  • cockfightbarmitzvah

    I give it one more year before they cave in and do it. And I hardly think a band that would more often than not play face down & blind drunk onstage should really worry about “what damage we could do to the legend”. There’s no harm in just going out and playing the songs that you and your fans love and miss.

  • futurehorse

    It’s not like they don’t still play together at all though. Both Paul and Tommy were on the Open Season soundtrack together. And personally, as much as I love the Twin/Tone era, seeing “I’ll Be You” live would pretty much make my life complete.

  • Thierry

    @Ned Raggett: All jokes aside, I’m in the first row for that show, regardless of time and place.

    @futurehorse: And they were both (along with Chris Mars on vocals) on the new tracks for the greatest hits from a couple of years back. And Tommy’s appeared on some of Paul’s solo stuff.

  • loudersoft

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see The Replacements.

    See, in a statement like the one I made is actually a hidden secret wish to be completely wrong, for it to happen, and for it to be impressive.

  • Captain Wrong

    I think the Mats are about the last band from the 80s with any alt-rock cred to not reunite. They might as well do it and get it the fuck over.

    Wait a minute…there hasn’t been a Husker Du reunion yet. Hmm…I’m seeing a blockbuster dual headliner summer tour here.

  • The Notorious T

    And the Dolls didn’t have to worry about pleasing fans that wanted to relive hardcore.

    So you think everyone would show up expecting to hear them run through Stink as opposed to Let It Be? Mmmmmm…

  • Wasp vs Stryper

    So, Paul may be busy coaching his son’s baseball team and sitting through Laurie’s book readings – but he still is a brilliant songwriter.

    I think I would go watch him read the back of a cereal box if it was still that voice, the sad eyes and the fact that everything he says/sings on stage sounded like such brilliant shit house poetry.

    TwinTone forever….

  • Clevertrousers

    @Captain Wrong: From Your Keyboard to God’s Ear, Sir.