Formed in a Minneapolis basement in 1979, the Replacements were a notorious rock ’n’ roll circus, renowned for self-sabotage, cartoon shtick, stubborn contrarianism, stage-fright, Dionysian benders, heart-on-sleeve songwriting, and—ultimately—critical and popular acclaim. While rock then and now is lousy with superficial stars and glossy entertainment, the Replacements were as warts-and-all “real” as it got.
In the first book to take on the jumble of facts, fictions, and contradictions behind the Replacements, veteran Minneapolis music journalist Jim Walsh distills hundreds of hours of interviews with band members, their friends, families, fellow musicians, and fans into an absorbing oral history worthy of the scruffy quartet that many have branded the most influential band to emerge from the ’80s. Former manager Peter Jesperson, Paul Stark and Dave Ayers of Twin/Tone Records, Bob Mould and Grant Hart of rivals Hüsker Dü, the legendary Curtiss A, Soul Asylum’s Dan Murphy, Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, power-pop hero Alex Chilton, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, and replacement Replacements Slim Dunlap and Steve Foley: all have something to say about the scene that spawned the band. These and dozens of others offer insights into the Replacement’s workings--and the band’s continuing influence more than fifteen years after their breakup. Illustrated with both rarely seen and classic photos, this, finally, is the rollicking story behind the turbulent and celebrated band that came on fast and furious and finally flamed out, chronicled by one eyewitness who was always at the periphery of the storm, and often at its eye.
“[T]his consistently engaging and poignant work . . . . [is a] loving, appropriately ramshackle tribute to one of the most beloved rock-and-roll bands of the 1980s. . . . The band's story is an archetype of the joys and pitfalls of underground success.”--Publishers Weekly
“The Replacements were superheroes: They rescued a whole planet from ’80s music. Jim Walsh’s loving, engrossing oral history is the book they deserve.”—Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity
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This is the story of The Replacements, a band in three acts: from its founding through its ascension from the club scene to the national indie circuit and a major label deal in 1985, to its slow and painful implosion.
Twin Cities music journalist Jim Walsh tells the story of the band that began in a basement and was eventually celebrated by The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. Walsh follows The Replacements’ remarkable rise (seven LPs, a spot on Saturday Night Live, a Grammy nomination) and their equally thunderous downfall.
In the first book to take on the maelstrom of fact and fiction that was the Replacements, veteran Minneapolis music journalist Jim Walsh distills archival interviews with bandmembers and hundreds of hours of new interviews with their friends, families, fellow musicians, fans, and co-conspirators into an absorbing oral history worthy of the scruffy quartet that many have branded the most influential rock ’n’ roll band to emerge from the ’80s.
“The Replacements weren’t a punk band but they made a great punk show of always biting the hand that fed them. Jim Walsh’s fantastic oral history . . . makes that perverse quality intimately clear.”
—Dan Wilson, singer, songwriter, and Grammy Award™ winner
“Immeasurably more transporting than an ordinary memoir, here is a poetic toast to a band so effusively careless that everyone who saw them instantly cared. At turns wounded and joyful, the communion of voices brought together here chimes like a Strat and builds like a heartbeat.”
—Diablo Cody, author and Juno screenwriter
“. . . a lovable and absorbing work, a swan song for an irrepressible, irreplaceable era in American popular music.”
—Elizabeth Hand, The Village Voice
“. . . it’s hard to imagine anyone approaching this unholy mess of a subject and doing a better job.”
—Patrick Beach, Austin American-Statesman
“. . . Walsh expertly navigates the divide between the truth and otherwise. It’s a compulsively readable, passionately compiled oral history of the infamous Minneapolis foursome who spent the ’80s writing a new rock ’n’ roll fairy tale while simultaneously ripping out its pages.”
—Ross Raihala, St. Paul Pioneer Press
“. . . uniquely, proudly the story of the Minneapolis band from the vantage point of the Minneapolis scene. . . . Funny, intense, sad and joyful.”
—Chris Riemenschneider, Minneapolis Star Tribune
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