I happened across this book that came out a couple of months ago, an oral history of the Replacements. I will have to read it, probably some good stories. Kind of weird I rolled across it (I did not type in the full name of another book I was seeking bibliographic information on, a sign of how we descend in this world perhaps).
Yes, they did become the worst band in the world, pretty quickly too. But they were great in their heyday, pun intended, there is no denying that. "Hootenany" is still a masterpiece. At least I think it must be, it was such a fine record. I haven't actually listened to it for a long time. I am pretty sure it will hold up. I'd put it on but my records are thousands of miles away. I am pretty sure that "Let it Be" will still be kind of vanilla and creaking toward lame, and all of there later shit will still be pure shit.
One thing I realized later is that the Replacements were just a good rock band for a time. I thought they were really something when I was a teenager, but that was because I didn't fucking know anything about anything and certainly did not know what there was out there musically. But being a good rock band, that is actually a rare thing and so is something after all. They definitely seemed great to my teenaged self because they played great rock music and they were from the Midwest, two important things to me at the time. "The country I come from is called the Midwest." I saw them play a lot of good shows in Chicago, and some bad ones too.
I saw them play their last two shows ever with Bobby Stinson, in NY at Irving Plaza with a group of my friends, all of them really into them also (and three of them later had their band signed to Twin Tone, which was like the holy grail at the time). Westerberg dived into the audience and broke his hand and they stopped touring. We didn't realize at the time that that was it. Later they got some other guy on lead, I don't remember his name, Duke something?, I can't remember. For years later, I used to see Bob Stinson at the Uptown in Minneapolis, drunk and kind of pathetic mostly. I bought him a drink once and (like a fool) felt really good about myself. When he died I was really sad, just that, sad. Too bad, he was always the real deal. Of course, I don't actually know that, it just seems true, so why not.