Replacements Frontman Sends Coded Message to Fans as Reunion Tour Closes
Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg may be sending the band's fans a message as the band's latest round of reunion shows winds to a potentially permanent close.
Billboard notes that as the group nears the end of its current schedule, Westerberg's been wearing a series of spray-painted T-shirts, each emblazoned with one letter on the front and back. At the Facebook page Paul's Shirt, sleuthing fans have pieced together what appears to read "I have always loved you. Now I must whore my past" (although Stereogum points out that the message, still incomplete, could end in "pain" instead of "past").
Billboard's source suggests that Westerberg's new dress code could be a veiled attempt at conveying dissatisfaction in the ranks of the current Replacements lineup, which convened in 2012 after Westerberg and original Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson ended more than 20 years of band inactivity with an EP of cover songs released to help former bandmate Slim Dunlap cover medical costs associated with a severe stroke. The group has toured on and off since 2013, and seemed to be making progress toward the first Replacements album since 1990's All Shook Down, but those plans are rumored to be over.
It's well worth noting, however, that the group's reps deny there's any trouble on the horizon, insisting that after the band wraps its Back by Unpopular Demand Tour on June 5, it will be "taking a break" that comes as "a natural progression of things." Either way, this short burst of renewed activity has offered an unexpectedly sweet coda to the story of a band that originally seemed like it was destined to flame out before its first record deal — and one whose musical legacy, while it may not fit squarely into the classic rock tradition, is definitely rock, and has held up more than long enough to be justifiably considered classic.
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