Friday, March 31, 2006


Heading into the weekend, Here Comes a Regular . .

If you attended Northwestern University in the early 90s, I hope you had a good time. I certainly did. Even thinking back about those days, I'm drawn to fond memories of huge parties in my apartment, broken up by the police and landlord-inflicted power outages.

I remember painfully strong G&T's that I mixed to music. I remember hanging out with buddies, watching Batman cartoons and having a beer after a long day of classes. I remember study breaks at midnight to watch Letterman, followed by the parade of freaks on Jenny Jones. Late night viewings of BLADE RUNNER (my generation's 2001), followed by long discussions about the nature of man.

Every weekend featured some kind of party. Every weekday included one of those moments that made college so cool.

And yeah, I remember some of the things that I learned in class, which is why my parents shelled out an obscene amount of money to send me to the idyllic hamlet of Evanston for four years. Really, Mom, I do.

Anyway, if you were there at old NU back in the day, and you ended up at one of our parties (and a lot of people did), you probably got cornered at one point by an, ahem, intoxicated Our Man in LA, who then regaled you for hours upon hours about his favorite band, inarguably the greatest garage band in the history of the known universe.

The Replacements.

Well, it's many years later. My G&Ts are made for human beings now, and I can't stay up for whatever comes on after Letterman. But the Replacements are back, and I couldn't be happier.

Read about it here:

Read about it, and then anticipate getting cornered to hear all about them.

They're still without question my favorite band of all time. Nobody channeled the anger of a Midwestern misspent boyhood the way these guys did. They were all about the very things that rock and roll songs ought to be about - anger, pain, alienation, and mocking the Man.

They played with a hard edge, and they didn't give a rat's ass about all the things that pretty boy rockers of today seem consumed by. They didn't do much in the way of videos. They had a single SNL appearance that was disastrous. Even their last concert - at Taste of Chicago (which I attended) - only made one, offhanded mention of this being the end of the road for these guys.

Right there before the last song, lead singer Paul Westerberg yelled out a quick jab at the crowd: "Last f***in' time you'll hear this!"

They played the song, and then were gone. No ceremony, no nothing. No mention in the celeb tabloids. Barely a mention in the Sun-Times.

I kept the faith. Besides my regular rants at college keggers, there's always a Replacements disc nearby. When I wrote my movie, THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, I had their album TIM on my headphones. Played it over and over again. Almost called the movie BASTARDS OF YOUNG, after their great song.

Now that faith's rewarded. Can't hardly wait for the new songs and the new collection. Peace out.

Now who needs a G&T?

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