PRINT March 2003


1985: The Replacements’ Tim

Time for decisions to be made / Crack up in the sun, lose it in the shade.

—The Replacements, “Hold My Life”

WHAT THE BEATLES WERE TO LOVE and the Sex Pistols to anger, the Replacements were to screwing up. Not merely or accidentally hapless, the original members of the band—Paul Westerberg, brothers Bob and Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars—made a loopy lust for failure the basis of a collective comic persona. While their contemporary Martin Kippenberger, another born comedian, fitted the self-conscious, balletic pratfall to the world of gallery and museum, the Replacements tailored it to a pop-music career. Every professional opportunity that came their way became, as songwriter Westerberg proclaimed with hoarse glee, “one more chance to get it all wrong / one more night to get it half-right.”

The four were just rowdy, endearing goofballs when they started performing in their hometown of Minneapolis

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 2003 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.