Monday, April 21, 2008

The Replacements Turned Down Coachella Reunion Offer...But Hint At Future Possibilities

Download: The Replacements - "Color Me Impressed"

With the band's entire Twin/Tone Catalog set to be re-issued tomorrow, the inevitability of future generations discovering the music of legitimately legendary indie-rock (version 1.0) quartet The Replacements is perhaps at its highest. Further cementing that opportunity for music fans not around for the band's 80s and 90s heyday would be if the group had made the decision to re-unite at this year's Coachella Festival, set to begin on April 29th. The band, whose original line-up is largely intact (founding guitarist Bob Stinson passed away in 1995), revealed to Billboard Magazine that the group rejected what were reportedly large offers to reunite at Coachella, amongst other major festivals, because "At the last minute, it just didn't seem like the right thing to do...".

Founding band member Tommy Stinson explains more to Billboard:

"We actually talked about it again this year, and I think there was a consensus that, you know, maybe it wasn't the right time (to reunite), or maybe it is the right time," Stinson says. "Paul and I were kind of in cahoots talking to them [and] talking to (his manager) Darren (Hill). There were some things thrown out, and there were other festivals that wanted it too, if we were going to do it.

"At the last minute, it just didn't seem like the right thing to do, so we didn't do it. But I think Paul and I have something to offer each other still. I think that's pretty obvious when we get together."

At the same time, principal songwriter Paul Westerberg explains to the magazine that "I'm very hesitant about dragging the name out there and what damage we could do to the legend. Whatever we did, someone would want something else...So if I was ever going to play, I'd like to play once the whole shooting match is out, because I don't think I could physically get up there and bellow these 18 songs (from) that first record..."

Read the rest of the article here

If the Replacements were to reunite, I don't think there'd be a single soul out there who wouldn't be interested in watching "the band" live. But the reason "the band" is in quotation marks is because two of the band members are not participating: one due to shuffling his aforementioned mortal coil; the other, Chris Mars, retired from music to focus on painting. So this would be a reunion in the same sense that the Smashing Pumpkins getting back together was a "reunion".

Still, personally speaking, I can't count how many personal organs I'd be willing to give just to hear any essential Replacements cut performed live. Since the article mentioned that the band also turned down offers from major festivals, I'd assume that we're not going to hear Let It Be performed in its entirety at Pitchfork, or can expect the quartet magically show up at Lollapalooza. But there's a chance of the band getting back together. The Sire catalog will be re-issued in the fall.

Maybe then will be the right time? Perhaps. But ay any rate, Replacements fans have been shiftless when idle for 17 years, with regard to a reunion. Waiting for another couple of months won't hurt.

(Jonathan Graef

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