Interview: The Replacements’ biographer on why some fans wish they hadn’t read his new book

If, like many fans, you think it’s one of the great rock injustices that The Replacements never really made it, you’ll have a whole new viewpoint after reading Bob Mehr’s exhaustive (and exhausting) new biography, Trouble Boys. Mehr spent several years interviewing not only Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson about the considerable legend and legacy of their band, but also band family members, label employees, and club owners. (Drummer Chris Mars declined to participate, but guitarist Slim Dunlap, who joined the band after the death of Bob Stinson, Tommy’s brother, did.) The result is a fully formed portrait of a band that churned out four classic albums (and four near-classic) over the course of 12 years while drinking enough to pickle any normal person’s liver, and wrestling various levels of depression, as well as each other.

Bob Mehr talks with Tommy Stinson (Photo: Bob Medcraft …

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