Jesse Malin & “Bastards of Young”

The video above is Jesse Malin onstage at the Stone Pony Saturday night. Yes, that is me, singing along in the background, even though I was taping. I hit record because I was anticipating some kind of hopeful rumination about Paul Westerberg or the Replacements or something similar. Instead I watched a bunch of people stand and stare at the stage.

I continue to remain amazed that in 2011 that “Bastards of Young” is not canon, that it is not mandatory, that everyone in the world does not know the words to it. Or even at least a Jesse Malin audience who presumably bought the covers record for which this was the lynchpin (as per Jesse), that they would know this song. I remain amazed that the Replacements continue to fade from view, that people don’t know and don’t care and don’t care to know. I am like one of those old people who remembers when things were one way and they still think things are that way, because in my day everyone I knew loved the Replacements (or made a conscious decision that they did not) and they were huge and important and hugely important, they were massive, they were the kind of thing you planned your life around, an album, a tour, a show, a television appearance was like a national holiday of some sort.

You argued. You defended. You loved passionately – or, quite possibly, you hated them passionately and would argue and defend your opinion just as vehemently as I would defend my love for them. You cared, one way or the other, you cared. I would have applauded a raised middle finger over standing around looking bored complacency. Back in the day, I saw more than a few raised middle fingers in the middle of Replacements audiences.

(And before you get all “What do you want for a Pony audience on a Saturday when 75% of them were staring at the stage door the entire time, waiting for Springsteen to walk in” [which was, sadly, true] this has happened at Irving Plaza too.)

These days, no one gives a fuck. And I don’t know how you can listen to music or care about music and not give a fuck about the Replacements, because I guarantee you that the people you are listening to right now would not be doing what they are doing without the Replacements.

This ties in nicely to one of my pet causes these days, Gorman Bechard’s documentary on the Replacements, Color Me Obsessed. [Full disclosure: I was interviewed for, and appear in, this film, and am a supporter via Kickstarter as well.] Conveniently, his most recent blog entry talks about the day they interviewed none other than Mr. Jesse Malin.

Maybe this movie will help. At least it will make me feel better that I have done something to help keep the Replacements alive in people’s minds.