The Replacements Return to NBC Airwaves with Ragged Glory Intact
The Replacements made a triumphant return to the NBC studios last night when they appeared on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.' Check out their performance above.
It was their first television appearance in 25 years, and just over 28 years ago -- Jan. 18, 1986 to be exact -- since the ragged foursome took the Saturday Night Live stage for a very loose performance that became the stuff of legend. Their behavior somehow got them on the wrong side of show producer Lorne Michaels, who banned them from ever appearing on the show again. This, obviously, didn't bother them too much. They were too busy being one of the best, ramshackle rock and roll combos at the time. That 1986 performance was every bit as incendiary as the famed Nirvana appearance years later, if not more so.
A lot has changed since that electric performance on SNL, most notably, of that original Replacements lineup, only two remain: bassist Tommy Stinson and singer and guitarist Paul Westerberg. Drummer Chris Mars has long since retired and the late, great Bob Stinson has long since left the earth.
This reformed lineup has been making the rounds since last year at various festivals and select performances, but this was their first jaunt back into mainstream territory. Jimmy Fallon introduced them as "a massively beloved and influential rock band," as the band launched into some old fashioned ragged glory rock and roll.
And how did they handle it? Well, the boys can still rock, and proved it with a sharp rendition of their classic 'Alex Chilton,' from their 1987 LP, 'Pleased To Meet Me.' Though not appearing to be inebriated, the element of mayhem was certainly within reach. Westerberg still has a way of marching on with punk spirit in tact, and not taking himself, or the prestigious television appearance too seriously. Stinson, on loan from his day job slumming it with Guns N Roses, looked and sounded sharp as ever. The new recruits, drummer Josh Friese and guitarist Dave Minehan, had not only the spirit, but the chops to pull it together for a great performance. Let's hope they keep this rolling a while longer while that fire is still burning.
Another guest on last night's show also knows a thing or two about rock and roll: the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards was there to promote his new children's book, 'Gus & Me,' but, unfortunately, failed to get up and jam with the 'Mats.