Okay, now that I told you how you can write for Paul Westerberg.net, you’re probably sitting there thinking, “Hrmm, what can I write about?” Have no fear, great ideas are here!
- The first time you ever heard The Replacements or how you discovered them/who introduced you to them
- Your favorite Replacements/Westerberg related moment
- Meeting weird Westernerds from the Internet and how PW has brought strange and exciting people into your life
- Any sort of Random Replacements Siting of the Day (like when you’re watching Scrubs and you suddenly hear “Attitude” and it’s just so weird)
- How much you love and adore me
- What prompted you to buy your very first Replacements album (was it on CD/vinyl, where did you get it?)
- Which is better “Can’t Hardly Wait” or “Left of the Dial,” why?
- The weirdest thing you’ve ever done because of your ‘Mats/Westerberg fandom
I discovered the Replacements around the spring of ’91, I think. My brother owned “Don’t Tell a Soul” on CD and “All Shook Down” on cassette, and I copied some of the songs onto a blank tape. I know some fans would say those two albums aren’t the best way to get introduced to the Replacements, but I was excited to discover a band with such memorable melodies. I played songs like “Attitude,” “They’re Blind,” “Talent Show,” and “The Last” all summer long (“Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid” is on that same tape, as well as several Hall & Oates, Led Zeppelin, and Proclaimers songs), not knowing that the band had played its last concert on July 4 in Chicago, where I now live.
I bought “Pleased to Meet Me” with some birthday money in 1992, and I remember thinking it was great, especially the song called “Alex Chilton.” Six months later I was browsing through old records at a used-books sale and ran across Chilton’s “High Priest” LP. Wait, this is a real person? I bought the album out of curiosity (for 99 cents) and suddenly I was a Chilton fan. For the next few years I bought Replacements and Paul Westerberg and Bash & Pop and Perfect albums, and Chilton and Big Star and Chris Bell albums, and Matthew Sweet and Lemonheads and various power-pop albums. It was a fun ride.
Robert, my first ‘Mats purchase was All Shook Down too.
Also, the ‘Mats, Hall & Oates AND The Little Mermaid, on one mix tape. Will you marry me?
“Will you marry me?”
Sure. I got nothin’ else goin’ on this weekend.
Before we say I do, I need to know what H&O song was on that mixtape.
Also if somebody doesn’t sign “Love, Nobody” in the guestbook, there will be hell to pay.
Well, my “blank” tapes weren’t traditional mix tapes — what I did was put the songs I liked from the CDs I started receiving/buying at the tail end of 1990 onto tapes, because that’s all you could listen to in cars back then, and I started driving in September of ’91 once I turned 16. Therefore I might have six songs in a row by one artist, then one song by another, then three by another. There was no rhyme or reason, and I still do this, except I transfer songs from CDs onto CDs that I burn from my computer. (Boombox tape-to-tape/CD-to-tape technology seemed to go downhill around 1999, but I swear the “blank” tapes I made in college in the mid- to late ’90s on a Panasonic boombox have the warmest, cleanest sound I’ve ever heard.)
Anyway, the Hall & Oates songs I have on the tape I mentioned are “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” “Kiss on My List,” “You Make My Dreams,” and “Private Eyes.” I still love all of those songs. Anyone who says Hall & Oates aren’t good is an idiot.
Here’s the full track listing for that tape …
Steely Dan: “Josie”
Led Zeppelin: “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” “The Rain Song,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “Fool in the Rain,” “The Wanton Song” (Is it possible to go through 9th grade without having a Led Zeppelin flirtation?)
Violent Femmes: “Prove My Love” (still the only song I like by them)
The Replacements: “Talent Show”
The Replacements: “They’re Blind,” “The Last,” “When It Began,” “All Shook Down”
The Proclaimers: “Then I Met You,” “What Do You Do”
Hall & Oates: see above
The Proclaimers: “I’m Gonna Be,” “Sean”
Samuel E. Wright: “Under the Sea”
Okay, we can still get married. I think my Hall & Oats record speaks for itself.
However, in spirit of full disclosure, I made it through 9th grade without a Led Zepplin flirtation. In fact I made it through all the grades and most of my adult life without such a flirtation.
Maybe it was just a Macon, Ga., thing, but I don’t think so. Here’s an Onion story from 2001:
I think it’s a penis thing.
Well, the Led Zeppelin CDs from which I took those songs I mentioned belonged to my best friend, who became my girlfriend the following year. (She was a girl even as my best friend. She didn’t BECOME a girl. I just want to make that clear.)
It would be a cooler story if you could actually transform someone’s gender. However, I am still sticking by my penis theory.
Can I get invited to the wedding?
My first Mats record (and it was vinyl) was Pleased To Meet Me, which I bought 20 years ago. I actually still have the receipt (because I’m a geek). KROQ had been playing “Alex Chilton” for awhile and I can remember singing it while walking around the house. Then an issue of CREEM arrived with a funny interview with the band and I decided I needed to buy the album, so I did. See my receipt at
Favorite Mats-related moment: I talked to Paul on the phone during a radio interview for like all of two minutes. And I talked to Tommy in a hotal bar once after a show. And once they did a song I requested (during that same radio interview).