The Replacements were one of the most original and influential rock bands of the 1980s. Their hard-drinking ways made them infamous to many clubs in the Twin Cities and around the country -- including the time when they got themselves famously banned from Saturday Night Live after a particularly intoxicated performance -- but it, sadly, lead to the eventual departure of original guitarist Bob Stinson due to creative conflict but also his own substance abuse problems. That was in 1987, and after Stinson left the ‘Mats Twin Cities stalwart Slim Dunlap joined the band after initially refusing Paul Westerberg’s invitation to join. Slim played with the band on tour and on their last three studio albums until their breakup in 1991. After that he continued playing in various projects in the Minneapolis area, and also released two excellent solo albums with 1993′s The Old New Me and 1996′s Time Like This.
Nearly eleven months ago, Slim suffered a very serious stroke that put him in the hospital for nine months and has left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. His insurance does not cover long-term care, and since leaving the hospital it appears that he will need round the clock care for the rest of his life. The Songs For Slim vinyl series will benefit Slim and his wife Chrissie in their efforts to provide the necessary medical care for the guitarist. The series kicks off with the Songs for Slim EP recorded by Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson as the Replacements -- the band’s first new release since 1990. The series will continue on through the year with monthly 7″ releases from a host of great musicians covering songs from Slim’s career. Go to songsforslim.com to check out the full list of featured artists, but it will include Craig Finn, Steve Earle, Deer Tick, Frank Black + The Suicide Commandos, and The Minus 5 to mention a few.
Songs For Slim will feature the newly formed Replacements -- with session men Kevin Bowe and Peter Anderson on guitar and drums respectively -- covering Slim’s song “Busted Up” (very fitting, right?) as well as “Lost Highway”, a Leon Payne song made famous by Hank Williams, “I’m not saying” by Gordon Lightfoot, and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from the Broadway show Gypsy.
At 8 am tomorrow the first pressings of Songs For Slim will go on auction at www.songsforslim.com. Each of the 250 10″ Songs For Slim EPs will be made available for bidding every three minutes, with the last copy going up at 10:27 pm, and each auction will last exactly ten days. This limited edition run is autographed by Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and Chris Mars, and includes new glossy band photos, a poster of Slim, a print of Chris Mars’ original painted cover art, and a digital download card.
Keep up to date with the fundraising efforts and the monthly releases on songsforslim.com and bid to support a good cause!