WESTERBERG With #1 fan Matt Tomich.
Paul Westerberg
Sat Feb 19
Roseland
8 NW 6th

Fans of the Replacements and Paul Westerberg have been a long suffering drunken lot of devotees, worshipping a band whose main accomplishment was never really living up to their potential. A band with more legacy than singles, the wake of The Replacements' demise has launched a steady career for frontman Westerberg, along with a handful of websites where 'Mats fans can go to share their love for the band that never was king.

Started in 1993 by Matt Tomich, Sky-way is an online mailing list that caters to all things Replacements and Paul Westerberg. In a time of cut-n-paste fanzines, Skyway was one of the first successful combinations of music and the internet (remember it was 1993), bringing together 'Mats fans the world over.

Did you ever see the Replacements live? When they were still good?

When they came around in 1989, I remember there was this girl in class who had the proto-Cure look going on--the dyed black hair, the copious eyeliner, black obscure concert tees, the air of perpetual disdain and drama. I remember asking her what she did last night, and she said, "Got drunk and saw the Replacements, duh!" I was pissed I missed them. I finally saw them two years later in 1991, the week after my high school graduation on one of those perfect summer nights in June where it seems like summer is going to last forever. Hell yeah, they were still good.

How many bootlegs do you own?

I just have one or two shows from every tour. I've heard a bunch but I only kept my favorites, like the show in NYC in 1984 where all the A&R people were there and they played covers like the Beatles' "Let It Be" while singing the lyrics to "Fuck School."

Do you think that Bob Stinson was murdered?

Kurt Cobain, possibly. Elliott Smith, maybe. Bob Stinson? This is the first I've heard of it.

Will there be a reunion?

Definitely maybe.

If you played in a Replacements cover band, who would you be? Slim Dunlap?

I'm a bass player, so I'd be Tommy Stinson. I'd rather play in a band writing new songs than be in a tribute band of a band whose members are mostly still alive.