While the Replacements were known for their loud playing, they also had a fondness for power pop. Over the years, Paul Westerberg became friends with power pop legends like Alex Chilton (whom they immortalized in song) but also with contemporaries like today's featured artist Tommy Keene.
Hailing from our nation's capital, Tommy Keene made waves in 1984 when his EP Places That Are Gone was the top ranked EP of the year by Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Awards. In 1986, he released a full length album Songs From The Film that included a re-recording of Places That Are Gone that had an accompanying video to promote as a single.
While the song did not chart, the video is still visually interesting and helped Keene make his only appearance on the Top 200 Album Chart in his career. After the Replacements broke up, Keene joined Westerberg as his touring guitarist during his solo career. Still with a loyal following, Keene has released a dozen albums including 2015's Laugh In The Dark.
As Replacements week continues, their reputation for concerts-gone-bad is legendary. Today we meet the Magnolias and their band led by John Freeman and his connection to a memorable Replacements concert of debauchery.
The Magnolias were one of the many rock bands making up the Minneapolis sound and in 1986 they were signed to Twin Tone Records, the same label that the Replacements were signed. Friendships ensued between the Magnolias and the Replacements. By the end of 1984, the Replacements had one of the best reviewed albums of the year with Let It Be, but crowds for the nightclub appearances were sparse. In Arizona, they ran into Magnolias' singer/guitarist John Freeman who was visiting family. He hitched a ride back home in January of 1985 with the band as they made one last stop in Oklahoma City to play at The Bowery with a capacity for 1,200 fans. Before the show, Keene followed orders to buy beer for the band and the resulting concert was a drunken disaster played before around 30 people.
While the Replacements fought hard to keep from being a success, they were not immune to competition and created rivalries among their fellow bands from Minneapolis. While Prince had The Time in Purple Rain, the Replacements first rivalry was with Husker Du, author of many great songs including Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely.
The Replacements and Husker Du are always linked together as they both started about the same time and had their origins in local record stores. Members of each band were all friends and drinking buddies but as they both improved they were soon fighting it out for opening slots on the club scene, then recording deals and eventually who's album would get the best review.
Husker Du guitarist Bob Mould would even be connected to two Replacements songs: 1980's Something to Du (with the lyrics "something to Husker .. break the mould") and 1983's Run It (a true motorcycle chase story that started off with Paul Westerberg and Chris Mars of the Replacements drinking beer at Mould's house). …
Labyrinth, starring Jennifer Connelly and the late David Bowie, returns to theaters on Sept. 11 and 14 to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Tickets won't go on sale until June 17, so plenty of time to get that babysitter.
Fathom Events is staging the screenings, though exact theater locations haven’t been announced yet.
September is an odd time for a 30th anniversary; the movie was actually released on June 27, 1986 in the United States (and Nov. 28 in the UK). Though it’s often considered a cult classic of the ‘80s, it should be noted that Labyrinth was actually a dud at the box office, earning only about half of its $25 million budget.
The story, revolving a teenage girl (Connelly) who is forced by the Goblin King (Bowie) to navigate a labyrinth to rescue her infant brother, has proven to be a tempting target for a Hollywood prequel or sequel. Thankfully Hollywood hasn’t been able to conquer that maze yet.
"Prince was rumored to have lurked in the shadows at some of the Replacement shows at First Avenue, but it was the bathroom of a club in St. Paul where Paul Westerberg finally ran into him. 'Oh hey,' said Westerberg, seeing the dolled-up singer standing next to him at the urnial. 'What's up man?' Prince turned and responded in cryptic fashion: 'Life.' - excerpt from Trouble Boys: The True Story of The Replacements by Bob Mehr.
While I don't often get the time to sit and read, I enjoy a good biography or oral history, especially on '80s music. In March, the Bob Mehr biography: Trouble Boys: The True Story of The Replacements came out and the detail was beyond my dreams. Inspired by the stories in the book, this week of Lost and Found touches on the Replacements, their friends and rivals that were mentioned in the book starting with the band itself and their late '80s stab for a hit with Achin' To Be.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” Has any Prince lyric ever meant as much to you as that line from Let’s Go Crazy means today? We’ve lost another hero.
Prince Rogers Nelson, better known to the ‘80s generation simply as Prince (and even briefly as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”) died Thursday morning at his Minnesota home compound known as Paisley Park, according to multiple media reports.
He was 57.
TMZ first reported the news on the passing of the singer, who late last week had a medical issue that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing. It was later reported he was battling the flu.
The cause of death is still unknown. The influence of his life cannot be measured.
TOP 5 PRINCE MOMENTS:
1. 2007 SUPER BOWL: Still in my mind the greatest halftime show in Super Bowl history, Prince took to the stage in Miami in the driving rain to perform - what else? - Purple Rain (along with several other songs that can’t possibly hold a candle to his signature anthem).
2. 2004 ROCK HALL OF FAME INDUCTION: Ever the unpredictable one, Prince humbly accepted his induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 20014 and then took to the stage to jam through While My Guitar Gently Weeps with Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison (the song of George Harrison). Goosebumps.
3. FINALE OF PURPLE RAIN: I might be the only person who holds this 1984 movie in such reverence. But there’s not a dry eye in the movie house when Prince takes to the stage at the end of the movie and dedicates his performance of the title track “to my father … Francis L.”
4. 2014 SATURDAY NIGHT LIFE PERFORMANCE: Nobody takes the stage on SNL and plays an uninterrupted medley that lasts eight … minutes … long. Prince did it in 2014. And he didn’t play a single hit. And people adored him just the same.
5. THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE: In 1993, as part of a feud with his record company, Prince shed his name completely and adopted an unpronounceable symbol (later dubbed “Love Symbol #2”) as his identity. He would return to his former moniker in 2000, but we’re just fine today thinking of Prince as a symbol of love.
Alcon Entertainment has done a man’s job, moving its sequel to Blade Runner to a October 2017 release date. What was it Roy Batty said? "Time ... enough."
Variety.com says Blade Runner 2 will feature Harrison Ford reprising his role as “Deckard” along with co-stars Ryan Gosling and Robin Wright. (Could they be replicants this time around? We’ll see on Oct. 6, 2017.)
Variety says the sequel will be set decades in the future but few other details are available.
As we conclude Rolling Stones week on Lost and Found, it is fitting we close with the final single from the '80s. For the Stones, their charting days were about over and as depressing as it sound, it is enough to Almost Hear You Sigh.
The Stones' 1989 album Steel Wheels was a success hitting No. 3 on the album charts and yielding Top 40 hits like Mixed Emotions and Rock And A Hard Place. The fourth and last single off of Steel Wheels was Almost Hear You Sigh. The song only made it to No. 50 on the pop charts but was a number one song on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. No other Stones single released after the '80s would chart higher than No. 60.
Almost Hear You Sigh is a calm, soulful song similar to other slow-down classics like Wild Horses and Fool To Cry and the video is a stylish filmed in black and white. The song was originally written to be on Keith Richards' solo album Talk Is Cheap, but Jagger liked the song enough that they reworked if for the Rolling Stones.
What makes for a good single and what makes for a good album cut? Sometimes knowing the difference of which song to release as a single can be a complicated mess. It's almost enough to cause a band to have their 19th Nervous Breakdown.
Back in the '60s, artists would often release singles and not put them on their albums. The strategy was that some songs were radio friendly and you sell them separately as a single while songs with questionable lyrics or longer than 2:30 were packaged for the "real" fans on the album. After the '70s, the model changed as singles were included on albums and designed to entice the listener to buy the more expensive album, thus creating a high-pressured decision on which singles to release to generate more album sales. …
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Would you be my, could you be my, won't you be my neighbor too? Alright Keith and Mick, I'll be one your Neighbours.
In 1981, the Rolling Stones had a No. 1 album with Tattoo You and Start Me Up was one of the most popular songs of the year. However, not everyone was enamored - especially Keith Richards' actual New York City neighbors who had him evicted from his apartment for playing his music too loud. That incident inspired the song Neighbours and although just an album track, the Stones made a video for Neighbours that was a nod to Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window.
In the video, the Stones are the secret square blasting their music while some of the characters of Rear Window are visible such as Miss Lonelyhearts and a man who might have murdered his wife. Just last month on March 25th, the Stones met our U.S. neighbors - Cuba - and the free show they performed enabled them to become the first English band to play an outdoor concert in Havana.
Many a Rolling Stones song has inspired mixed emotions. Today's song has the elements of a heart, a knife, your most important digit and the band Loverboy. What song could inspire that sort of combination? Under My Thumb.
Streetheart is a Canadian band that won the Juno Award in 1980 for Most Promising Group and in that year they hit the Canadian Top 40 with a remake of Under My Thumb. For hard core fans of Canadian rock, Streetheart is also remembered for two of its founding members, Paul Dean and Matt Frenette, would leave Streetheart to start Loverboy with Mike Reno.
Although never released as a single when it appeared on their 1966 album Aftermath, Under My Thumb has prevailed one of the Stones most popular songs and the Streetheart version reached No. 29 on the Canadian charts but did not appear on the U.S. charts. Under My Thumb is also notable as it was the song being performed in 1969's Altamont Free Concert when a member of the Hell's Angels (acting as security) stabbed and killed a armed man that was captured on film. …
STS-1 - aka the first orbital launch of the space shuttle - happened 35 years ago today on April 12, 1981. I had to recheck it on the Internet to be sure. How crazy is that? Space Shuttle Columbia had a crew of two – John W. Young and Robert L. Crippen - and orbited the Earth 37 times in 54 hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Here are five things you probably don’t remember about the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia.
1. The launch on April 12, 1981, was exactly 20 years after the first-ever manned spaceflight (Yuri Gagarin's on Vostok 1) but the timing was totally coincidental. Columbia was scheduled to be launched two days prior to April 12, but a technical glitch caused the delay.
2. Rush’s song Countdown (from their 1982 album Signals) was inspired by the launch of Columbia.
3. STS-1 and STS-2 are the only shuttle flights that feature white external fuel tanks. Why were the rest painted orange? They weren’t. They’re naturally orange but were painted white for the first two flights. Turns out not painting them saves about 600 pounds in weight.
4. Though STS-1 was considered a success, a normal of “anomalies” were noted with the flight. Among them: The white paint from the aforementioned fuel tank splattered the window windows when it came off; the heat shield was damaged and tiles went missing; and the landing gear was buckled by hot gas.
5. President Ronald Reagan had planned to visit the space center in Houston during the mission but that was canceled after his assassination attempt two weeks prior to the launch. Here's how CBS covered the launch 35 years ago today: …
The Duran Duran Paper Gods Tour of North America is just getting rolling, but so far the Stuck in the '80s boys have missed them on every stop. Thankfully our correspondent "Gayle in DC" caught them Friday night and sent us this review. Take it away, Gayle. …
Talk to you, later because the news is huge. The Tubes - those quirky, fun-loving musicians between such iconic tunes as She’s a Beauty and Talk To Ya Later - are coming to Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre on Friday, June 3.
Tickets go on sale April 16 at 10 a.m. and are priced at $55 and $65.
Opening for The Tubes is John Waite, whose hit songs Change and Missing You punctuate his exceptional solo career. This is a mighty strong double bill.
The Tubes - led by the legendary Fee Waybill - don’t make it on the road very often so this is a rare opportunity for true fans of music to see an iconic band in an intimate venue. Click here to see if the band is coming anywhere near you.
Relive the '80s music, movies and culture with Tampa Bay Times correspondent Steve Spears. A teen during the greatest decade ever, Steve is obsessed with everything from Duran Duran to Journey, John Hughes to John Cusack, and parachute pants to big hair.