Trouble Boys, the new Replacements biography due out Tuesday, is essential reading for lots of reasons, many of which we explored last week in a lengthy chat with its author, Bob Mehr.
While the bio deals in weighty matters (abuse, addiction, depression), there's no shortage of priceless anecdotes concerning the legendary Minneapolis rock crew. Among them: the amazing first meeting between 'Mats frontman Paul Westerberg and Prince. Here's the passage from Mehr's book:
Prince was rumored to have lurked in the shadows at some of the Replacements shows at First Avenue, but it was in the bathroom of a club in St. Paul where Westerberg finally ran into him.
"Oh, hey," said Westerberg, seeing the dolled-up singer standing next to him at the urinal. "What's up, man?"
Prince turned and responded in cryptic fashion: "Life."
Vintage Prince! Worth noting: The psychosexual implications of two enigmatic music geniuses simultaneously grabbing their, er, equipment seem limitless.
Years later, while recording in Hollywood, the band would meet another Minnesota-born music titan. Here's the account of the 'Mats meeting Bob Dylan that appears in Trouble Boys:
At Ocean Way’s front studio, Bob Dylan was doing overdubs for his new album, Under the Red Sky. Looking like the Unibomber, he walked the halls in sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt pulled tight around his head. On the first day of the session, as the group was setting up, Dylan suddenly materialized on the studio floor.
"He just walked in and started talking to the band," recalled engineer Clif Norrell. "He was saying, 'My kid loves you; my son's really into your band.' You could see their eyes light up, and then Dylan goes: 'You're R.E.M., right?'"
For more amazing Replacements stories - including ones about their beautifully disastrous 1986 Saturday Night Live gig (posted below), staggering booze intake, and a little game called "Dodge Knife" - pick up Mehr's book today.