Young Spuds in a Longhorn Daze

Daniel Corrigan, December 28, 1987


While out to see former Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremner, Westerberg was introduced to George Wendt (Norm on TV's Cheers), who was out back of the club blowing a j with "one of the Turtles, Flo or Eddie--whichever one has white hair." Upon sighting him, George exclaimed, "It's my idol, Westerberg." The duo went on to have a grand old time and Paul says George is an awful lot like Norm, a real regular guy. Apparently, Wendt had at least some 'Mats albums and asked if "Here Comes a Regular" was about him.

Michael Welch, September 21, 1988


Since peaking in 1984-85 with Let It Be and Tim, the group's albums have grown progressively weaker....Although Westerberg's affected adolescent worldview has grown wearisome--how many loner songs does a loner really need?--I'm convinced he could still get it across if it had the hooks, humor, and passion of his best material. But where he was once crazily self-assured yet reckless, he's now obsessively self-conscious and calculating....Which means we're stuck with a harder truth to swallow: That Westerberg has peaked as a songwriter. Harder still might be the realization that he didn't just throw his talent away, but that it threw him away.

Burl Gilyard, October 3, 1990


Last week it seemed that everyone had a Bob Stinson story to tell. Some of the snapshots were happier than others: Bob with his little boy. Bob with his guitar. Bob giving a big, no-holds-barred hug to a suffering friend. But in most of the stories, the suffering friend was Bob Stinson. Like the party he'd gone to back in 1991 or 1992. Bob was in the bathroom getting ready to shoot up. A friend of his had brought a camera that night, and the man started snapping pictures of Stinson cooking a fix, injecting himself, breaking off the tip of his rig. Oliver Stone's movie about the Doors had come out not long before, and the friend had a thought. "I said, 'Bob, do a Jim Morrison for me.' And he got in the bathtub and put his head way back and his arms up on the side of the bathtub and I snapped his picture."

It seemed like a funny idea at the time. Lots of people, friends and perhaps especially strangers, did that sort of thing all the time. Coax Bob to get fucked up, to do something stupid, to be a wild man. Buy him beers, give him drugs if you had them. It was the least a person could do for Bob Stinson From The Replacements. Sitting in a bar a couple of days after Stinson's funeral, the man who got Bob to play the Lizard King hung his head over his drink. "His fans killed him, man. I really think they did." For Bob Stinson, part of the peril was that his fans in many cases became his friends.

Joseph Hart, March 1, 1995


Like it or not, a reigning cultural ideal in this country says that you learn and grow old gracefully. However, if there's a secondary American dream besides that of prosperity and propriety, it's that of influencing culture and/or changing history--which Stinson did, subtly but surely.

Jim Meyer, March 1, 1995


A wall of sound quite unlike Spector's, quite unlike the Ramones'--but a sound that never has a top, is never hermetically sealed. In ten minutes, they will be halfway through a 16-song set....As many as five or six fans will be wrestling on the stage. Hüsker Dü, seemingly oblivious, plays on...."Are you the fastest band in the world?" I finally ask Mould. "Oh, I don't know.... Fastest in town, maybe. Probably in the Top 10 in the world."

Mike Hoeger, December 3, 1981


There are many people who dismiss the Hüskers as just another hardcore punk band. That perception is not only fallacious but downright irrelevant....As a matter of fact, the self-limiting, auto-destructive nature of the hardcore scene is the jumping-off point for many songs here. Blind devotion, conformity, passivity, hollow communication, living in the past, random violence, even apocalyptic dread are all attacked, then filtered through the Hüskers' unique musical meat grinder.

P.D. Larson, February 2, 1983


The Hüskers played a couple of 17-second outros for the [Today] show before they were actually given an extended spot for "Could You Be the One?" preceded by a short interview with Bryant Gumbel, who seemed to believe that the Hüskers should be frustrated with their "underground" status....Anyway, the band didn't even finish "Could You?" before a high-strung producer was giving them the cut-off signal. Mould stared the guy in the face and kept right on going.

Michael Welch, May 27, 1987


Over a beer some years ago, Bob Mould told me that if he wasn't playing in a band, he'd probably go crazy, get a gun, and start killing people....And while the years may have mellowed--and altered--Mould's warfare tactics, he's still of the mind that he'd be a psychopath if he never discovered his purging rock vehicle.

"Even more so these days," Mould says.

Jim Walsh, October 10, 1990


City Pages: All of your material makes an attempt at connecting with people on an emotional level. Why is that important to you, rather than just trying to be entertaining? I mean, it's a risk to expose yourself that way.

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