Everything you need to get excited about the Replacements, Keith Richards and 30 Rock.

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The Replacements posted this video to their Youtube channel the other day….

Their 1986 Saturday Night Live appearance is legendary, so it’s a kick to see that they were letting them back in the building at 30 Rock.  There was some speculation that it could mean they were playing Seth Meyers’ Late Night but Tonight Show booker Jonathan Cohen confirmed that they are playing the show today on Twitter.
Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 3.11.37 PMThen, Paul Westerberg fan site Man Without Ties pointed out that Keith Richards is scheduled to be a guest on the show.


Here’s everything you need to know to get excited about the possibility of anything remotely resembling Keef and the Mats being near each other in the NBC building….

January 18, 1986.  The Replacements appear on Saturday Night Live with Harry Dean Stanton hosting.  Unable to leave between dress rehearsal and the live broadcast, they did what any musical guest would do: trash the dressing room and get yourself and the host drunk. They played a fantastic “Bastards of Young” first. Paul yelled “C’mon, fucker” to Bob before the solo, then just kinda got bored at one point and didn’t sing. 

Paul, Tommy and Chris switched into each other’s clothes and came back later in the show to play “Kiss Me On The Bus”, which isn’t shown in shortened syndicated show repeats.

We were picked up to go to the studio at 10 in the morning in a limousine stocked with booze, and from 10 to five you couldn’t leave that floor.  Anything you want they’d send for.  Before we played we were completely just out of it.  Harry Dean Stanton was in there drinking booze with Tommy.  They were all fucked up.  I was in the bathroom getting high.”  -Bob Stinson in All Over But The Shouting (click to read more of his hilarity)

Producer Lorne Michaels was apparently livid and threatened to ban all Warner Brothers acts from future shows unless they paid for the damage that the band did to their hotel and dressing rooms.

On December 17, 1988, the Replacements played their only show of the year and their very first arena show, opening up for the last date of Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos’ US tour at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  They’d spent most of 1988 recording and getting ready to release the Don’t Tell A Soul album.  Since they’d be rusty, even by Mats standards, they actually rehearsed for it at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis, which turned out to be their only known taped band rehearsal.  Of course, it didn’t matter. One fan described their set as “BEYOND shitfaced” (show recording link).  

Photographer Paul Natkin recalls, “So, I spent about 3 weeks with Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos in November and December of 1988, traveling coast to coast with the coolest guy in Rock and Roll. The tour ended on Keith’s birthday, with a huge party after the show backstage at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. The Replacements, who were the opening act that night, asked me if I could take their picture with Keith. I told them to hang out and when he was through cutting the cake I would ask him. He of course said OK, so we went back to the Replacements table (This was about 15 minutes later,) and two of them were gone and the other two were passed out at the table. Keith and I just looked at each other, smiled, shrugged and went about our business.”

Happy birthday to Keith/Unsatisfied

Keith doing a timely Chuck Berry tune from that night’s show

Keith and the Winos on that one show

Tony Pierce (full 2008 LA Weekly interview): I saw a picture of you with Keith Richards who has got to be a big hero of yours. Did you guys have a chance to sit down and talk?

Paul Westerberg: Yeah we met about three times and that was the time we were doing a television show… no that was his birthday. Funny thing is that was his 45th birthday, I was 28, and now that I’m 45 I’m trying to get a picture of me and someone who’s 28 and compare them. Or take one of me and Keith now. No, that was very– I just snuck backstage through the security guard and took a Polaroid of us. I wasn’t scared of him. He gave me the look like he was going to kill me but he knew I was safe.

Polaroid found on Gypsy Dungeon tumblr

Polaroid found on Gypsy Dungeon tumblr

Seven years later after the first 30 Rock appearance, Lorne Michaels either forgot, forgave or didn’t know that Paul had been the singer of THAT band. In 1993, 3/4 of the current Replacements lineup was the musical guest on SNL (with Paul’s longtime manager Darren Hill on bass). They played the Keef influenced “Knockin On Mine” and the Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait” with the house band’s horns.  Paul told drummer Josh Freese to yell something during the pauses, so he blurted out “BURT REYNOLDS!”.  In the end, he’s busting ridiculous moves that even Steve Moore would approve.  In a hilarious account of the night on Facebook he said, “I’m such a goddamn hot dog during the performances (I was 20 though…c’mon) that I can barely watch it”. He mentioned that they were told to keep it quiet that Paul was a Replacement for fear that they might not let them play.  The show ended without incident but 70-year old conservative host Charlton Heston couldn’t remember Paul’s name during the closing goodbyes. Paul made a “Ah, these people don’t care about me” gesture but then coughed into his hand and gave Heston a firm handshake.  A+

pw snl pw snl2

pw-n-chuckSo, what if Keith actually played with the band on Tuesday night?   What would they play?  Probably some old blues or early rock & roll song but the amazing Replacements Live Archive made it easy to find what Stones songs they’d done before……

Happy and Honky Tonk Woman on PaulWesterberg.net

Last Time, Let It Bleed, Midnight RamblerMoonlight Mile Start Me Up (Replacements Live Archive download links)


After the PW and HOF show at SF’s Great American Music Hall I was fortunate to get to meet with Paul and talk with him at his bus. Music was coming from inside the bus and when the Stone’s/Richards’s song “Happy” started playing, Paul turned and pleaded, “Can you turn that up?” I acknowledged the song by saying, “Keith!” Paul shook his head solomnly and said, “I love Keith Richards.”   –Brianlux

I might just have to stay up late and watch.  As if I’m not excited enough about heading to Minneapolis in….uh oh, I need to buy some plane tickets.

Is this the first time NBC has actually admitted that someone was banned from SNL? http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/filters/guests/11346Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 8.56.58 PM

Soundcheck in NY for @fallontonight.  -Josh Freese, Instagram

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.02.44 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.03.19 PM



Tonight…. via The Replacements’ FacebookScreen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.03.29 PM

Questlove and Tommy Stinson. I like this duo. via Jonathan Cohen’s Instagram

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.03.44 PM Thank you, goodnight!  via The Replacements’ Facebook

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.04.00 PM @officialKeef & @ruby_stinson (daughter) via Tommy Stinson’s TwitterScreen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.04.19 PM Keef and the Mats in the hallway after @fallontonight. I am a very happy and lucky fellow. via Jonathan Cohen’s InstagramScreen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.04.34 PM The cards say it all. Thank you, Paul and Tommy. SPOILER ALERT via Jonathan Cohen’s Instagram  Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.04.46 PMALSO CHECK OUT
The Last: words on the Replacements at Denver RiotFest
Elvis Costello on Saturday Night Live: The most overrated “punk” moment in TV history.



One thought on “Everything you need to get excited about the Replacements, Keith Richards and 30 Rock.

  1. Pingback: Everything you need to get excited about the Replacements, Keith Richards and 30 Rock. | “Yer doin’ great.” (a muzak clickclack) | Paul Westerberg

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