Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Defiant Ones

Paul Westerberg talked his way into the lead singer role with The Replacements when he was the janitor and was walking home from work one day and happened to overhear a punk band rehearsing. He supposedly convinced the singer that the other members of the band were about to fire him, and so created the vacancy for himself to fill.

For the next 10 years, they created some of the most authentic, stripped down, power-chord and pricelessly lyrical music in the world. Westerberg still tours regularly. The Replacements married punk ethos of self-reliance and defiance to actually being able to play instruments and write songs. It hasn't been a totally lucrative move, but plenty of talented people have found the price of selling out is often higher than the dollar signs on the recording contracts. My own tastes don't run to punk - I love music too much, but I appreciate a good snarl at The Man as much as the next person.

Here's a recognizably prototypical Replacements song - "Alex Chilton." Apologize for the poor recording quality from this live performance, but it's good enough to give you an idea.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one will ever come close to being as cool as the Replacements. I never got into Westerberg's solo career, however. I agree with your previous post that they should indeed be in the Hall of Fame.

3/14/2007 1:35 PM  

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