Season 2 — Episode 6 — May 25, 2022
Paul Westerberg (The Replacements) — Pleased to Meet Me
Well, you wish upon a star
That turns into a plane
And I guess that’s right on par
Who’s left to blame?
If you were a pill
I’d take a handful at my will
And I’d knock you back with somethin’ sweet and strong
I was driving my friend Andrea back to the airport and she asked me: “Have you ever heard The Replacements?”
“They’re cool, I think you’ll like them.” A weird silence filled the car for a minute: “ They have horns.”
Now, I’m still not sure why she thought that would be the thing that closed the deal for me, and I’ve never asked — not sure I’d like the answer. But she boldly commandeered the car stereo and popped Pleased to Meet Me into the deck and found “Can’t Hardly Wait.”
An avid Marlboro man back then, the line that made me smile wide was:
Jesus rides beside me
He never buys any smokes
That is SO Jesus, am I right? He just seems like that cool guy you hang with who is forever bumming cigarettes and always like a dollar short of buying anything.
Pleased to Meet Me is ground zero for my love for The Replacements.
Andrea was dead wrong, I didn’t like them — I loved (still do) The Replacements.
My love affair with pied piper of vulnerability, awkwardness, and existential dread — Paul Westerberg — was born hurling down the Saw Mill River Parkway towards LaGuardia.
If you’ve ever careened down the Saw Mill Parkway in New York then you know it’s an apropos metaphor for The Replacements career. You gotta go fast to keep up, and if you can’t — get the fuck outta the way — sometimes you gotta stop quick, you bob and weave like Muhammad Ali in his prime, and there are stop lights all the way down — gird your loins.
Even all these years on, I would still argue that’s the best way to meet The Replacements.
The day after I dropped Andrea off, I went to the local record store but could only find Let It Be — a story for another time.
For me, Pleased to Meet Me is the one album in the band’s cannon that highlights the scope of their talent (musically and lyrically). An argument could be made for Let It Be, for sure and I could easily go down a rabbit hole on this topic, but not today folks.
And while I love all of their albums, The Replacements were never as good as they are on Pleased to Meet Me.
On this episode of Abandoned Albums Rob Janicke and I have a nice chat with The Replacements frontman, Paul Westerberg, about the making of the Pleased to Meet Me.
NOW, if you’ve listened to the episode you’re probably aware of the cheeky nature of the episode.
And if you haven’t? I’ll borrow a line from the side two opener “Never Mind”:
Absolution is out of the question
When I mentioned this episode to Rob, we both had a nice laugh about it. If you have any doubt, rest assured, it’s Paul Westerberg you’re hearing. It’s a legit interview.