The Replacements beginning’s started in Minneapolis, 1978 when Bob Stinson (lead guitarist) bought a bass guitar for his younger brother, Tommy Stinson. The duo added Chris Mars (at first as a guitar player) as their drummer to form the band Dogbreath. They did Aerosmith covers mostly.
The band eventually started to audition vocalists. Paul Westerberg, who hung out at the band’s rehearsals, decided that he wanted to become the band’s vocalist and told their current hippie singer to fuck off.
Westerberg brought an entirely new routine to the band’s rehearsals. He made them cut out most of the drug use during rehearsals - though alcohol was very much consumed. Eventually Dogbreath changed their name to the Impediments.
The Impediments played one of their first gigs at a church dance hall. The band was extremely drunk and disorderly causing them to become banned from the venue. After this they became known as the Replacements.
Chris Mars explains the name, “The Replacements:”
"Like maybe the main act doesn’t show, and instead the crowd has to settle for an earful of us dirtbags. It seemed to sit just right with us, accurately describing our collective ‘secondary’ social esteem."
After recording a 4-track demo and giving it to local Record Company Twin/Tone Record creator Peter Jesperson (who was blown away by the demo) they set out to record their first album on Twin/Tone.
The album’s released was delayed until 1981, it was known as “Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash.”
Sorry Ma is an absolute punk rock classic. Westerberg has admitted in recent interviews that Sorry Ma and an EP, “Stink,” were efforts to keep up with fellow musicians Hüsker Dü but after the recording of Stink the band began to move away from extreme punk rock. As Westerberg has said, “We started to realize that girls liked the more poppy numbers.”
Their second studio album, “Hootenanny,” (a joke recording that appears on the record) was widely and well received when it was released in 1983.
After the released of this record, the band went on a crazy US tour full of ups and downs. The tour ended with a horrible CBGBs performance.
Their next album, “Let it be,” would become the defining record for the Replacements as well as one of the best albums of all time.
to be continued…