Trouble Boys is hands down the best rock biography I have ever read. It doesn't matter if you are a fan of The Replacements, their story will hook you from the start. It's all there, in full glory: the banding together, the insidious band politics, the rise to success, the brotherly betrayal, the self-defeating behavior which stalled rock stardom to, finally, a successful reunion that ultimately ended the band again. Told plainly and beautifully by Bob Mehr, Trouble Boys has been at the top of my recommendation list ever since I read it. Recommended By Brien M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Trouble Boys is the first definitive, no-holds-barred biography of one of the last great bands of the twentieth century: The Replacements. With full participation from reclusive singer and chief songwriter Paul Westerberg, bassist Tommy Stinson, guitarist Slim Dunlap, and the family of late band co-founder Bob Stinson, author Bob Mehr is able to tell the real story of this highly influential group, capturing their chaotic, tragic journey from the basements of Minneapolis to rock legend. Drawing on years of research and access to the band's archives at Twin/Tone Records and Warner Bros., Mehr also discovers previously unrevealed details from those in the group's inner circle, including family, managers, and musical friends and collaborators.
"The destruction. The volume. The cruelty. The charm. The songs. The songs. The songs. To live close to Paul Westerberg’s material was to be lifted…then bent by it. The songs were that good. Mehr shows us that no one, Westerberg included, knew quite what to do with it all. It was underrated, overrated, obsessed over, ignored—never anything in the middle. But somewhere between the Replacements' path of destruction, epic but ultimately empty, and the beauty and honesty of Westerberg’s writing, there was a band, a band whose story has for too long remained unknown and unknowable. This book gets us closer than we’ve ever been. Mehr brings us one of the great American rock 'n' roll stories and all the hurt that came with it." Warren Zanes, author of Petty: The Biography and Revolutions in Sound: Warner Bros. Records—The First Fifty Years
"Mehr captures the light and dark of a band that could play both acoustic ballads…and punk anthems…Mehr covers all aspects of the band members: alcoholism and addiction, artistic differences, ruined friendships, and the death of lead guitarist Bob Stinson…Thoroughly researched and detailed…earning the 'true story' subtitle." Publishers Weekly
"An in-depth biography of a beloved, exasperating band that never quite made it…[An] impressively researched and well-rendered biography…The dynamic that made the band great also tore them apart, as this biography superbly documents." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Bob Mehr’s raucous, ribald, and oft-times harrowing book takes us behind the scenes, to the bottom of the bottle, all the way to the end of the road, and then further still—revealing the story of the Replacements, a band that gave away its soul on every record and refused to sell its soul to a corporate world." Robert Gordon, author of Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion and Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
"Bob Mehr has given us a book, a real book, that will draw you in whether or not you give a fig about rock ‘n’ roll or any world but your own." Nick Tosches, author of Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story and Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams
About the Author
Bob Mehr is the chief music critic at the Scripps-owned daily paper in Memphis, The Commercial Appeal. He's also served as an award-winning writer and columnist for the New Times’ flagship paper in Phoenix, Village Voice Media’s Seattle Weekly, and the Chicago Reader, and is a longtime contributor to MOJO and SPIN magazines. His liner notes have accompanied CD reissues and box sets by the Replacements, Big Star, Warren Zevon, and the Dixie Chicks. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.