For the ABC’s of Rock, I finally tracked down some shows that the Replacements played with ol’ William Alexander Chilton. In an interview for Rock Band’s website, Paul talked about recording the namesake song about one of his songwriting heroes… He was hanging out. He was there. I mean, uh…well, s**t, did he play on it? He played on “Can’t Hardly Wait” – he played a little guitar on that. But he, you know, we went down to record in Memphis with Jim Dickinson. That’s where Al was then. When we first laid the song on him the engineers kind of looked at me like, you know, are you serious? You’re gonna call this song “Alex Chilton”? I was like, “Yeah, you know.” So the word got out that there’s some kids down here in the studio that wrote a song about you and he sort of made his way down. On January 19, 1985, around the time Chilton produced Replacements demos of “Can’t Hardly Wait” (acoustic and rocked) and “Nowhere Is My Home“, the two played together at the Uptown Bar & Grill in Minneapolis, MN. A recording of the show became the Merv Griffin presents the Replacements bootleg. In their set, they covered “September Gurls” and “I’m In Love With A Girl” before Alex got up and joined them at the end of the night (Youtube audio links below).
25. Takin’ Care Of Business (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) * https://youtu.be/1ezXNwJlc8Y
26. Help Me Rhonda (Beach Boys) * https://youtu.be/2kpn9Jj3Ags
27. Little GTO (Ronnie & The Daytonas) * https://youtu.be/S4bK59SAEOA
28. Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love (Bad Company) * https://youtu.be/B3hu6A71VYI
29. I’ll Be There (Jackson 5) * https://youtu.be/SU1SH2BkO04
30. Hitchin’ A Ride (Vanity Fair) * https://youtu.be/9VNoQsz1Iwc http://replacementslivearchive.blogspot.com/2013/10/january-19-1985-uptown-bar-grill.html (entire show link)
There were back to back Texas shows in November of 1985. The Houston show at the Lawndale Art Annex was a drunken riot (click for an account of the craziness) but Pat Blashill took a slew of great black and white photos from the Austin show the next night that look like a blast.
Then they did two shows together in April of 1987, the same month that Pleased To Meet Me, with its infamous namesake song, was released. Both shows are up on the Replacments Live Archive and at the second show in Ybor City, Alex joined them again.
http://replacementslivearchive.blogspot.com/2013/09/01.html (entire Miami show link)
A recollection and a preview of Ybor City. http://replacementslivearchive.blogspot.com/2013/12/april-25-1987-cuban-club-ybor-city.html (entire show link)
23. – messing around > Alex Chilton
24. Route 66 (Ray Charles/Rolling Stones)*
25. Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love (Bad Company)*
26. The Last Time (Rolling Stones)*
27. September Gurls (Big Star)*
28. Substitute (The Who)*
29. I Wanna Be Your Dog (Stooges)*
30. Duke Of Earl (Gene Chandler)*
31. Left Of The Dial*
In 1987 after one of their two NYC Beacon Theater shows, the band went to Maxwell’s in Hoboken NJ afterwards to see Alex play and Paul got up to join him on “Little GTO”. Photos by Ted Barron below. Read his recollections from that night at Rockin-Pneumonia. The Replacements song is definitely where I first heard the name Alex Chilton. My own band, Rookie Card, did exactly what you shouldn’t do when you open for Tommy Stinson and played it when he came to san Diego in 2004 and again when we opened for Soul Asylum a few years later, replacing the They Might Be Giants intro with Prince’s “Kiss” for more MInneapolis content. When Alex passed away in 2010, some friends and I did a set of his songs as A Little Big Star and closed with it. As far as the best performance of the song that never was, Jon Auer told me how when the allstar Big Star Third production played Bumbershoot last year, they learned the song in case they could lure one of the Replacements over before their set. Could you imagine Paul singing it with Jody Stephens on drums? Sadly, it didn’t happen. So here’s a beautiful rendition of “Nighttime” with Tommy Stinson singing with Big Star Third at SXSW in 2012.
Paul sings “A.C.” live in NYC 1999
Paul’s 2010 A.C. eulogy in the New York Times
2008 Paul interview about the song being in the Rock Band video game
Jon Auer covering “Swingin’ Party” which he’s been doin’ since his teens