And if I don’t see you, in a long, long while… I’ll try to find you Left of the Dial.

The Replacements

Music can change your life. I believe it to be a transcendental moment when it happens, although that “exact” moment, cannot usually be qualified until years later upon reflection. You could build a personal calendar around it. Example: There was the era before you heard the Grateful Dead and your life after. The Calendar notation of B.C. and A.D. could be replaced with B.Phish and A. Phish. The same could be said for any band or musician that you stopped your life for. the Sex Pistols, Garth Brooks, Lady Gaga, Led Zeppelin, etc. etc. etc. You had to have every album, you read all the lyrics, stopped a conversation to make someone listen, replayed a song over and over for someone to try and make the person feel the power you felt when you heard this song.  If you were to replace ‘music’ with ‘God’ you would have been described as having had a religious experience… and therein is the power of music.

This experience has happened to me more than once. I keep up with music, I labor over it. Definitely a labor of love. I am quite sure there were bands during my adolescence that I obsessed over, and still enjoy, but the band that I truly carry with me  to this very day, the band that I will always carry in my heart, were The Replacements. This scruffy Minneapolis foursome, embodied the freedom and frustrations of boys turning into men. The howl of the internal fear (that manifests itself as anger) that every man tries to keep bottled up inside himself. The working class poetry that rises as hope, because it is the only beacon from a life too dull to face.

The Replacements were all that and more to me. They brought the swagger of young men prepared to do things their own way, yet lead singer Paul Westerberg‘s lyrics were captured in time, through the eyes of an older wiser man, that you knew full well that you would become, as sure as time itself. I remember a lyric from one of the The Replacements albums: “I hate my father, one day I won’t.” There is not much to expand upon here, just the absolute truth of the inevitable. Women were drawn to this band as well. The warrior with the poet’s heart. The man that still carries a bit of the boy inside. It’s an attractive trait, to never let go of your true you, and to keep the light burning from within. I cannot begin to count the amount of women I have met who have indicated that Paul Westerberg and The Replacements are their favorite band.  Arguably one of the most influential bands of the 80′s, I read a quote where Jeff Tweedy from Wilco said, “Everything we do is based upon the Replacements” before launching into a cover of their song ‘Color Me Impressed’.

I am not sure exactly what put the hook in me, but something about them spoke to me. I remember the moment.

What band did that for you?

Left Of The Dial - The Replacements

Unsatisfied - The Replacements

2 Responses to “And if I don’t see you, in a long, long while… I’ll try to find you Left of the Dial.”

  1. Steve D Says:

    Great song choices. I also love Answering Machine. It dates the band well.

  2. Cheryl Says:

    Count me as one of those girls who name the Replacements as their favorite…and funny that you mention Tweedy in the last line. Wilco has picked up for me where the Replacements left off. God, I miss that band.

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