Friday, August 10, 2007
"Jesus Rides Besides Me...
...and he never buys any smokes."
You know how you have those bands that you grew up with, that meant more than the world to you, that defined your young adulthood and your loss of innocence.
If I had to pick one, The Replacements would be that band to me. They make me remember the strength, the naïveté, the zest to see the world, the dream of moving to New York, love, friends, beer parties, running from the cops and the realization that those times are irretrievably gone.
I saw Mr. Westerburg on some solo album tour at Irving Plaza back in '97 or '98. When he did The Replacements stuff, I started weeping like a baby. It all came rushing in. I just realized that those days are gone. And it was profound. I was sad for me and sad for him. These two 12 year olds in front of me turned around and said, "You okay, man?" I couldn't talk. I couldn't tell them about seeing the "5-song then a fight" TIM show at Skatetown in Raleigh in '85 or the pitiful DON'T TELL A SOUL show in '89 at the Civic Center in Raleigh while visiting from Boston, and having a beer with Tommy that night.
Same as when I bought that Warner Bros. Best Of collection ten years ago (!) for the second disc of b-sides and rarities. The first song is the early, unreleased TIM version of “Can’t Hardly Wait” and the lyrics are almost entirely different than when they recorded it for real on PLEASE TO MEET ME three years later. As poor dead Bob's guitar screams, Paul screams, “I'm climbing to the top of this crummy water tower screamin’ I can’t hardly wait – ‘til it’s over.”
I burst into tears again at the sheer beauty of another suicide love song, changed by Paul drastically when it appeared on the album alongside “The Ledge." The hole through the gate that he snuck through to get to the top of the water tower had become a hole in the drapes.
I could talk about this shit for hours. Buy me a drink sometime and ask me - as long as you are sincere.
This is a model named Kira, from a long, long time ago, when I was innocent too. Well, more innocent than I am now...