The Replacements & Mission of Burma

The Replacements never had a hit song, but few bands have inspired such a deep connection with their fans. Bob Mehr, author of the biography Trouble Boys, talks with Jim and Greg about the band. Plus we revisit our interview with Mission of Burma.

The Replacements
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The Replacements

The mythology of The Replacements can overshadow the actual music – from their infamously volatile live shows, to their wild drinking, to Paul Westerberg’s legendary songwriting genius, and to their commerial ailures. But author Bob Mehr reveals a more complicated story of the Minneapolis band in his new book Trouble Boys: The True Story of The Replacements. As he explains to Jim and Greg, Bob traces much of The Mats’ personality to their troubled upbringings, particularly that of guitarist Bob Stinson. Though the band’s records from the early ‘80s were influenced by hardcore punk, Westerberg always had a latent sensitive side that fully emerged on the 1984 masterpiece (and Classic Album Dissection recipient Let It Be). The Replacements signed to a major label for the 1985 album Tim, but Bob describes a combination of self-destruction and bad timing that ultimately kept the band off the charts. The Replacements broke up in 1991, but its influence was soon heard all over the alternative rock explosion. The enormous crowds at the band’s recent reunion shows are testament to the enormous impact the music has had on generations of fans, even if that big hit song always eluded them.

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