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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About the Author
Jim Walsh spent several years singing in Twin Cities bands before turning to rock journalism. In 1990 he became the music editor at City Pages, an alternative weekly in Minneapolis. Three years later, he joined the St. Paul Pioneer Press as the pop music columnist and as a feature writer, and in 2002 he left Minnesota to study at Stanford University on a John S. Knight Fellowship. Walsh returned to Minneapolis in 2003, where he lives with his wife and two children, and performs and records as his musical alter ego, The Mad Ripple (www.myspace.com/themadripple and www.myspace.com/madripplemusic).
Table of Contents
Chapter One Raised in the City
Chapter Two When It Began
Chapter Three What’s That Song?
Chapter Four Someone Take the Wheel
Epilogue Waiting to Be Forgotten
Song and Album Index
What People are Saying About This
Publishers Weekly, Oct. 15, 2007
“In this loving, appropriately ramshackle tribute to one of the most beloved rock-and-roll bands of the 1980s, Walsh gives his subjects the oral history treatment, assembling a wide range of associates, friends and famous fans to put their memories on the record. The band’s story is an archetype of the joys and pitfalls of underground success – a rabid and loyal local following leads to a major label contract that, with its attendant pressures and misunderstandings, brings about the band’s slow dissolution and demise. The great moments in their history are all recounted here in warm detail: lead singer Paul Westerberg breaking copies of his new record Hootenanny in the local record store; the drunk Oklahoma City show attended by 30 people that still led to a live album; the triumphant disaster of their first and only appearance on SNL. The self-destruction of Bob Stinson, the band’s hilarious but alcoholic guitarist who died in 1995, is a fascinating and harrowing counterpoint throughout to the band’s adventures. Walsh himself proves to be among the band’s most eloquent and thorough defenders and explainers in his introductory essay and various excerpts from articles that appear throughout this consistently engaging and poignant work.”
“The Replacements were a careening indie rock band of the 1980s that garnered more reputation than commercial success (of which they received hardly any). Somehow the scruffy Minneapolis foursome managed to last 12 riotous years. During that time, they staged some legendary “you had to be there” shows and were worshipped by fans with the fervor of the recently converted. What was it about these guys? Was it the goofy-looking guy in a dress, who played scorching lead guitar? Or the sensitive lead singer-songwriter, who shredded his vocal cords on cuts like “I Hate Music”? Walsh, pop-music columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, doesn’t try to answer such questions as much as capture the time and place of the happening that was the Replacements. His oral history recounts the differing reactions of musical contemporaries such as Bob Mould of Husker Du, rock critics such as Steve Albini, and members of the Replacements themselves. But the best remembrances come from ordinary fans, who saw in these awkward adolescents kicking at the status quo something that made them say, “Hey, that’s us.” Recommended, maybe must reading for fans of the Replacements and indie rock in general. Album art, candid photos, and early handbill posters complement the text.”
ALARM Magazine“Having literally grown up with The ‘Mats, as their fans affectionately refer to them, and remaining a friend and fan to this day, veteran journalist Jim Walsh, author of The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting: An Oral History, is perhaps the perfect person to tell their tale…Walsh presents the ‘Mats in a multidimensional light, illustrating their talents and charisma, while also depicting a band that struggled with many challenges that early success can bring, and showing how easy it can be to fall into a cycle of self-destruction. But rather than turning it into a tabloid, the impression he leaves is sensitive and human. “Compiled from hours of personal interviews and research extracted from countless articles and reviews from years past, The Replacements is clearly a labor of love. The memories from those who were there are convincing enough that even if the reader had never heard of The Replacements, it is clear how they could become heroes to their fans. In cities across America, the names and places may have changed, but the story remains the same.”
St. Paul Pioneer Press
“Jim Walsh expertly navigates the divide between the truth and otherwise in his new book, The Replacements: All Over but the Shouting. 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.”
CMJ New Music Monthly
“For those who saw the Replacements in their prime, it’s odd to notice that their lasting influence seems to be congealed into the sappy sides of middling emo bands who really like Don’t Tell a Soul. But don’t blame the Minneapolis slop-rock gods for that foible. Get a feel of their real ragged soul from this bio, cobbled together by a guy who was in a Minneapolis band form back in the drunken daze and saw the Replacements at their very first bar show and a million times after that as a pal and sometime roadie....since we’ve rarely been privy to those fellas’ thoughts, or the cool old pics throughout, this tome is invaluable. Plus, it also helps cement the truly lasting and fruitful fact that the Replacements, and the everyman Minneapolis scene, saved punk from ‘80s bald-headed hardcore dogmatics.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune“The Replacements is uniquely, proudly the story of the Minneapolis band from the vantage point of the Minneapolis scene…Funny, intense, sad and joyful.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
All Over But the Shouting is a collection of old and new interviews, fan reminiscences, and magazine and newspaper articles that, woven together by journalist Jim Walsh, tell the story of the Replacements, the legendary Minneapolis quartet who were a cornerstone for grunge, low-fi, and alt-country and whose influence can still be heard in today's rock music. The book's structure, however, is its very weakness, as Walsh doesn't really add any new information about the band and long-time followers will experience a bit of deja vu as they read interviews culled from old sources. Furthermore, singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Westerberg refused to be interviewed for the project, as did bassist Tommy Stinson. As a result, fans of the band, who are the book's primary audience, won't be satisfied.Still, a book about the Replacements that fails to live up to expectations seems somehow appropriate for a band that in many ways was about failure and dissatisfaction. Walsh's preface to the book is one of the better attempts at explaining the paradoxical appeal of the band, which, as others have pointed out, could be the greatest rock and roll band in the world one night and the worst on the next. Some nights they could go to either extreme within the the same set or even song. They were that good...or is it that they were that bad?While I'm delighted that someone has finally assembled a book about the Replacements, the definitive story has yet to be told. I would have liked to hear more stories about the band's notorious hi-jinks as well as more analysis of the meaning and importance of their legacy. Some of the interviews are insightful and interesting, but alas, there is too much re-tread of old material. The passages on the dissolution and death of Bob Stinson, though, including Walsh's own eulogy delivered at the funeral, are particularly heartbreaking. His firing casts a long shadow over the band, and the book makes it clear that nothing was ever quite the same after his exit. Slim Dunlap, too, does give a few fresh and sometimes unflattering insights into the latter days of the band. A word of advice to the journeyman musician: never join your daughter's favorite band.