Replacements – Message to the Boys

Thanks to Aphoristical for pointing me to this song and album. At the end of 2005, years after the band had broken up…Warner Music Group ended up with rights to the Replacements’ Twin/Tone albums, and their entire catalog was finally placed under one roof. They offered Westerberg and Stinson a deal for the band to reunite and record. They wanted to package a “Best Of” album with a few new songs.

They had been feuding with each other off and on since the break up. Westerberg and Stinson ended their feud and agreed to do it. They did not invite Slim Dunlap to participate for some reason. They did however invite drummer Chris Mars to join them. They patched things up with Mars but he was an artist and doing it for a living and didn’t want to play. He did come to the sessions anyway. Drummer  Josh Freese had flown out to play drums. To show you how they operated…here is Westerberg’s thought on that.

“And Chris, he was still a Replacement…The first thing out of his mouth to Josh was something like, ‘Man, you almost played that really good.’ That’s what we missed. You don’t have to play the drums. You can just bring the attitude.”

The band recorded two songs Message to the Boys and Pool and Dive. They appeared on the album Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was? They didn’t end up touring at that time but offers came in year after year and the money offers got bigger.

Westerberg: “The fact that we came up short is the thing that’s kept us interesting. That is part of the attraction. We’ve retained this mystique.”

Paul and Tommy would later reunite again in 2012. Former guitar player Slim Dunlap had a major stroke and they contributed to a benefit album of Slim’s songs along with many artists. In 2013 they started to play live again and eventually toured until 2015 when it ended abruptly.

Paul Westerberg about the reunion in 2006 and missing former member Bob Stinson: “The answer to the million-dollar question is yes, when Bob died, something died in me and Tommy, and we’ve never been the same since,” said Westerberg. “And it’s always been awkward, and it’s always been unsaid and unsayable and strange and weird between us.”

This concludes taking a song off of each album from the Replacements… thanks for following here every Monday. I’ll still post some Replacements here and there.

Message To The Boys

Well I met her in a bar
Like I always say
She was digging Tommy’s cute
Way down in FLA

Wearing that vest with nothing underneath
Looking her best in the Florida heat
Sent a message to the boys
She was wearing that vest with nothing underneath
She be looking her best in the Florida heat, yeah
Sent a message to the boys

Well, she couldn’t cut loose
With her mommy around
So she packed her pretty bags
Went to the run-away town

Used to call me late at night
Said she missed her little maid
I never asked twice how the bills got paid
She sent a message to the boys
Used to call me every night
Said she missed her little maid
Never ever asked twice how the bills got paid
Sent the message to the boys

She sent a message to the boys
She’s gonna be there, if you need her
I can’t forget her and her voice
And her voice

Was a lady to the end
Now to this I can attest
She knew how to move
Yeah, when she rock’n’rolled this

She sent a message to the boys
She’s gonna be there, if you need her
I can’t forget her and her voice

She sent a message to the boys
She sent a message to the boys
God, I miss her and her voice
She sent a message to the boys
She sent a message to the boys
Oh god, I miss her and her voice

Replacements – Merry Go Around

This one is off of their last studio album All Shook Down. I was going to conclude with this one having one off of their studio albums but there is one more coming next week.

This is not my favorite off the album but it did have a commercial sound for that time and it’s something that I thought would have charted in the Billboard 100. Merry Go Round did peak at #1 on the alternative charts. The album peaked at #69 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1990.

“Merry Go Round” was written about the  lives of Westerberg and his sister Mary (“They ignored me with a smile, you as a child”).

The band went to Los Angeles to make a video for Merry Go Round. With Westerberg’s okay, Warner Bros. hired Bob Dylan’s twenty-three-year-old son Jesse Dylan, who was just starting to direct.

It was shot in black and white and later edited to include some colorful inserts. From the opening moments, with a stone-faced Westerberg staring blankly into the camera, the video lacked the fun that had marked some of  their other clips. Paul and Tommy managed a few smiles, and Slim played along gamely. The drummer Chris Mars, miming to Charley Drayton’s drum track, was understandably less than enthused.

Merry Go Round

Hush was the first word you were taught
And they watched you wear
The clothes they claimed that they bought
They brought you down
To watch the merry-go around

In fall, you knew how much it cost
A trouble doll
Around your neck when you lost
You wouldn’t make a sound
But I could hear your little heart pound
And I watched your feet slip off the ground

Merry go round in dreams
Writes ’em down, it seems
When she sleeps, she’s free
Merry go round in dreams

You wake to another day and find
The wind’s blowing out of key with your sky
Only you can see
And the rain dancing in the night
Everybody stands around in delight

Merry go round in dreams
Writes ’em down, it seems
When she sleeps, she’s free
Merry go round in dreams

And everybody thinks she’s sick
She’s got two worlds she can pick
And she’s sad

Hush is the only word you know
And I stopped listening long ago
They ignored me with a smile
You as a child
But the trouble doll hears your heart pound
And your feet they say goodbye to the ground

Merry go round in dreams
Writes ’em down, it seems
When she sleeps, she’s free
Merry go round in dreams

Merry go round in dreams
Merry go round in me
Merry go round
Round and round in me
Merry go round
Round and round in me

Replacements – Talent Show

We apologize, here they are… The Replacements.” (see story at bottom)

I’m going to stick with the album Don’t Tell A Soul for one more song. The album has a bunch of good songs and this is around the time I stopped following them. I’ve picked the band back up with earnest but a box set was released with this album mixed how it was meant to be.

At the time it was mixed with a pop sheen that felt outdated by the end of the decade. The original mixes are great and this one is one of my favorites off the album…and the band.

They were invited to play the International Rock Awards show and they felt out of place in the star studded audience…then came the introduction…”We apologize, here they are… The Replacements.” You then hear Paul ask… “What the hell are we doing here?” before they start into the song.

Before the show the producers told Paul that they would have to bleep out the line “We’re feelin’ good from the pills we took.” and Westerberg suspiciously happily agreed. He wasn’t going to leave it at that though…they did silence out the line and he rolled his eyes. For the song’s closing “It’s too late to turn back” coda, Westerberg began to sing “It’s too late to take pills” instead—several times. The censors missed it completely and let it go out live on the air… ABC was not amused… the Replacements were ushered out of the building at the end and did not get to participate in on jam.

It seemed most in the audience were too busy looking for another star than actually listening to the music…except Matt Dillion at the end.

Here is the live clip of the event

Talent Show

In my waxed up hair and my painted shoes
Got an offer that you might refuse
Tonight, tonight, we’re gonna take a stab
Come on along, we’ll grab a cab

We ain’t much to look at so
Close your eyes, here we go
We’re playin’ at the talent show
Playin’ at the talent show
Come on along, here we go
Playin’ at the talent show
Check us out, here we go
Playin’ at the talent show

Well we got our guitars and we got thumb picks
And we go on after some lip-synch chicks
We’re feelin’ good from the pills we took
Oh, baby, don’t gimme that look

We ain’t much to look at so
Close your eyes, here we go
We’re playin’ at the talent show
Playin’ at the talent show
Come on along, here we go
Playin’ at the talent show
Hop a ride, here we go
Playin’ at the talent show

Well it’s the biggest thing in my life I guess
Look at us all, we’re nervous wrecks
Hey, we go on next

Talent show
Talent show
Playin’ at the talent show
Playin’ at the talent show

Wish us luck if you can’t go
Playin’ at the talent show
An empty seat in the front row
We might even win this time, guys, you never know

It’s too late to turn back, here we go