Today’s Mr. Paul Westerberg’s 50th birthday. Yesterday the Strib ran a nice piece about the old man.
“Starting in the 1980s, the Replacements injected a much-needed dose of mischief into a musical environment close to being overtaken by poseurs and synth-rock. Westerberg and his bandmates Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars and Bob Stinson took their direction from romantic songwriters and glam bands from the coasts — sentimental troubadours like Eric Carmen and Neil Diamond and party hounds like Thin Lizzy and Kiss. Ambitious, skilled, and swaggering but not stupid, they were the Clash without the notion that they had something important to say.
“Originally content to play simply fast and loud, Westerberg’s often comic and daring music grew increasingly more ambitious. By the band’s third and fourth albums, he was throwing off evocative tales of heartbreak, pain and confusion at a level that most bands would be lucky to stumble upon once in a career. Commercially, the Replacements mostly went nowhere, but you have to remember, this was the decade of Phil Collins.”