Trouble Boys

Trouble Boys

The True Story of the Replacements

Book - 2016
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"The Replacements were an American indie rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1979 who were pioneers of alternative rock. The band was composed of the guitarist and vocalist Paul Westerberg, guitarist Bob Stinson, bass guitarist Tommy Stinson and drummer Chris Mars for most of its career. This is a deeply intimate and nuanced portrait, exposing the primal factors and forces - addiction, abuse, fear - that would shape one of the most brilliant and notoriously self-destructive groups of all time. Beginning with riveting revelations about the band members' troubled early years - which were scarred by alcoholism and mental health issues - the author tracks the group as they rise within the early '80s American underground and chronicles the making of classic LPs like Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, and Let It Be. Signing to Warner's Sire Records, the Replacements became one of the first indie bands to make the transition to a major record label world. The darker truths behind the band's legendary drinking, showing how their addictions first came to define them and then nearly destroyed them. An exploration of the life and tragic death of founding member Bob Stinson, who was fired from the group and later passed away at the age of thirty-five. By the end of their twelve-year run in 1991, the band's tightly held bonds had frayed as drummer Chris Mars was fired and Westerberg's depression, drinking, and desire to go solo became all-consuming. The band's break-up came in front of 20,000 people onstage at Chicago's Grant Park as they ceremoniously handed off their instruments to their road crew and disappeared, seemingly for good. Trouble Boys then traces Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson's subsequent efforts to find careers of their own, and it reveals the Replacements' impact and influence on successive generations of artists - from the Flaming Lips to the Pixies, Nirvana to Green Day, the Wallflowers to Wilco"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Boston, MA : Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group, 2016
Edition: First Da Capo Press edition
Branch Call Number: 781.660922 R425m
Characteristics: xiv, 474 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Feb 08, 2018

I really enjoyed this book, a must read for any Mats fan. APL also has a great box set of all Mats studio recordings. I never saw a Bob show but, this book made me go out and watch a lot of video. Very thorough without being boring or pompous.

Jan 01, 2018

I enjoyed this book very much and learned their reputation was based on reality. Some antics were funny but many were simply tragic...they were afraid of success, yet jealous of other band's successes. (I really got upset about smashing beautiful guitars....C'mon!) The stories about their upbringing; broken families, alcoholism, divorce, and much, much worse are real American stories. Despite their tendencies to sabotage their careers, the 'Mats left a small but great legacy of great rock songs. (Check out Let It Be, Tim, Pleased to Meet Me)

Mar 10, 2017

I liked the band. Didn't have the end-all devotion that most in this city (Minneapolis) had but I liked them. Only saw them live once and that was just for a handful of songs. Thanks to author Bob Mehr, I learned that this performance was the first that Paul Westerberg did without the influence of alcohol. And it's this attention to detail and backstory why Bob Mehr deserves some massive kudos for this book. At over 400 pages, this really goes beyond what one would expect from a music bio. Especially when most folks, band members probably included, think that's just completely overblown for this little engine that could but didn't. This story is much more compelling than you'd think. It's not just the tall-tales that have followed the band over the years. Childhood upbringings, perspectives from others within the circle, and first accounts of just how they felt about each other are thoroughly covered in details that can be both hilarious and heartbreaking. You end up realizing that the only thing that constantly stopped The Replacements from reaching that next level of success, was The Replacements. This is actually one of the better music biographies I have read in quite a while. Like I said, kudos to you Mr. Mehr.

Feb 28, 2017

I am embarrassingly unfamiliar with The Replacements. I'm sure there are a handful of songs that I know, and even more that I've heard a million times and just never realized or cared that it was them. I actually had no intention of reading this book, at least not now; I downloaded it on the new Kindle I purchased for my trip to see the Truckers and began reading it only as a test. Huge credit to author Mehr for making the first chapters interesting enough to grip my attention and make me commit! Despite not being a fan of the 'Mats, I am a huge fan of many bands who credit them as an inspiration. This book really put into perspective the influence they've had (like the Drive-By Truckers' ear-bleeding volume, or Lucero's loose and sloppy setlists). I'm not convinced they'll become a new favorite band, but I'm definitely eager to devour their catalog. I definitely recommend this one.

Aug 31, 2016

Good book about The Replacements- has some interesting details about the rats that run the music business.

Jul 26, 2016

​I've read a few other books about the Replacements but this is the most well rounded. Solid interviews by the author and research and little knowledgeable tidbits about the scene and Minneapolis really takes this book beyond its peers. I highly recommend it for any 'Mats fan.

The book also finally convinced me that some bands just has a natural lifespan. By the time the Replacements got past their self-destructive phase, Chris Mars was halfway out the door and more focused on art and Bob Stinson – the rocker, was already gone. Nothing against Paul Westerberg, but the book really demonstrated to me he was better in a band than as a solo artist and there was something special and fleeting about the 'Mats. Something that will never be recreated in a Westerberg solo effort or in a Stinson/Westerberg reunion.

ucprod Jul 06, 2016

Exhaustive (and exhausting) book about The Mats. The Replacement could've been the best rock'n'roll band in the world, but they habitually turfed their career any chance they got. This book shines a light on the legend....

Mar 05, 2016

Terrifically entertaining read even if you are not familiar with the band. Meticulously researched, full of surprises, author Bob Mehr even got the notoriously uncooperative remaining members to give an honest accounting of the wild ride that was the Replacements. Funny and heartbreaking!

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