Five Special Guests for The Replacements’ Homecoming Show

Familiar faces for a one-of-a-kind performance.


    A couple of years ago, any article about The Replacements either revolved around a random Paul Westerberg track, another retrospective feature, or some nostalgic reissue packed with a handful of exclusive content. That all changed last year when Westerberg and Tommy Stinson raised the banner once more, something we dissected at large when we labeled The Replacements 2013’s Reunion of the Year. Forgive me but as a longtime fan who has fallen asleep clutching a battered LP of Don’t Tell a Soul, this still means a whole lot — especially since they’re finally coming home.

    If you missed it, The Replacements recently announced their first non-festival performance since their return. It takes place on September 13th in St. Paul, MN, at a soon-to-be-demolished baseball stadium, and, what’s more, there will be special guests. Granted, they had me at “homecoming gig” — a salutary benefit for any rock ‘n’ roll show — but the possibilities of who might join ’em onstage in the Twin Cities have me reeling. Already, they went toe to toe with Replacements superfan Billie Joe Armstrong during Coachella’s second weekend, and that was an impromptu idea. We’re months away from St. Paul, which gives them almost too much time between now and then.

    Because tickets go on sale tomorrow, my mind’s been in the gutter all afternoon, even despite the fact that I picked up three lucky stubs during this week’s testy pre-sales. (I’m sure it’s even worse for those that were shut out.) So, to help satiate my nerves, and to come up with another excuse to talk about The Replacements, I assembled a short list of guests that are both believable and true to the Replacements’ mythos. Have others in mind? Lemme know below.


    FYI: Don’t forget to bookmark this page and wait anxiously at 10 a.m. CST tomorrow.

    Bob Mould

    bob mould sasha geffen Five Special Guests for The Replacements Homecoming Show

    Photo by Sasha Geffen

    On The Replacements (via LA Record): “They’re great guys, and they were a great band, sometimes—like one in ten they were brilliant, and the other nine it was Faces covers or whatever. You never knew what you were gonna get because they drank so much. Those shows when they were on, it was the best thing in the world—but all the rest it was like if Paul gave up halfway with the set, then it was just like, ‘Fuck, not another one of these.’”

    Mould would be happy to know that’s hardly the case anymore. Their recent shows, especially last year’s three, all prove this is a Replacements willing to play the Replacements. So, why not have a little homecoming yourself, Bob? How funny would it be if he played “Something to Dü”? God, they could even follow it up with something off Zen Arcade. For years I’ve wondered how Westerberg would sound singing “Broken Home, Broken Heart”. Do it.

    Peter Buck

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    Fun fact: R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was once considered a possible producer for the band’s diamond third studio album, Let It Be. Instead, he was, in his own words, “Kind of there for pre-production stuff, did one solo, gave ’em some ideas.” That guitar on “I Will Dare”? Yeah that was him. With the Athens outfit now kaput and his solo career keeping him on the road, why wouldn’t he have time to hang out in the Midwest. Personally, I pegged him as the name they’d grab to replace Slim Dunlap and Bob Stinson before him for the initial reunion, but that honor went to Dave Minehan. Now I’m just holding out hope he comes out for one song. Maybe two. Throw in an R.E.M. cover, too. “Harborcoat”, please?

    Joan Jett

    joan jett1 Five Special Guests for The Replacements Homecoming Show

    When The Replacements rolled through Chicago last year at Riot Fest, I was slightly convinced Joan Jett would have come out for a song. Of course, the festival was fully stocked with an arsenal of worthy veterans, but Jett and Westerberg have history. Sort of. The two were both featured on a cover of “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love” for the soundtrack to 1995’s universal flop Tank Girl. Okay, so maybe Westerberg was called in to replace the vocals of Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin, but their “duet” is punk rock bliss, and it’d be a cool way to finally pit them together. Also, as we recently witnessed, Jett’s no stranger to covers.

    Craig Finn

    craigfinn e1399068662792 Five Special Guests for The Replacements Homecoming Show

    Another superfan like Armstrong, The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn will forever be indebted to The Replacements’ brand of reckless, boozy rock ‘n’ roll. It’s not like he’s a stranger to the area, either. He grew up in Edina, MN, and The Hold Steady’s storied songs all feel stripped from the great liberal state. So, if you’re going to let Armstrong do an entire set at Coachella, it’s (sort of) only fair you give Mr. Finn a chance, too. I don’t know what song would work really, but something tells me he would. Maybe “Kids Don’t Follow”? Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    The Memphis Horns

    memphis horns Five Special Guests for The Replacements Homecoming Show


    When Westerberg decided to add brass to “Can’t Hardly Wait”, he tagged “arguably the greatest soul horn section ever,” aka The Memphis Horns. The legends appeared on basically every Stax recording that required horns, ranging from Otis Redding to Isaac Hayes, in addition to work alongside Elvis Presley, Al Green, Neil Diamond, and so on. For The Replacements, Horns founder/tenor saxophonist Andrew Love and trumpeter Ben Cauley hit the studio and contributed their parts. Sadly, Love passed away in 2012, but fellow trumpeter Ben Cauley is still around despite a stroke back in ’89. Let’s say the band called in a favor, and Cauley, alongside co-founder Wayne Jackson, strung together a few friends to bring the Pleased to Meet Me closer to life. Not only would it be special, but historic, too. Keep in mind, the Memphis Horns received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award back in 2012. Pretty big deal.

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