The Replacements May Not Reunite, And Thank God

anthonyjmiccio / April 21, 2008

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]