A Famous Encounter and “Like a Rolling Pin”

A “Talk of the Town” segment in The New Yorker featured a short profile of record producer Scott Litt, who had produced records by the likes of Nirvana and R.E.M. In the article, Litt told an interesting story about the first time he met Bob Dylan.

More than a few decades ago, Litt was producing a Replacements album, working in the studio with the band. Dylan was working on his own record nearby, so he stopped by to check out the Replacements.

When Dylan walked in the studio wearing a hoodie, it just happened to be the same time that the Replacements’ leader Paul Westerberg was singing a parody of Dylan’s hit song “Like a Rolling Stone” called “Like a Rolling Pin.”

Westerberg did not notice Dylan standing there, and Litt failed to alert the singer, who continued with the parody. Finally, when Westerberg finished, Dylan asked, “You guys rehearse much?” Then he left.

The lyrics to “Like a Rolling Pin” are nothing special, using phrases from Dylan’s original mixed with some small changes. I believe the song did not end up on the album at the time, appearing later with B-sides and unreleased tracks on All For Nothing/Nothing For All (1997). But the Replacements can sing the phone book and make it sound like a great song. So when they start off with a great Dylan song, one cannot complain.

More than twenty years later, Litt finally got to work with the singer of “Like a Rolling Stone” when he was the engineer for Dylan’s 2012 album Tempest. While working with Dylan on Tempest, Litt did not mention their previous studio encounter. [Nick Paumgarten, Hello, Bobby, The New Yorker, 1 Oct. 2012: 22-23.]

What is your favorite Bob Dylan cover? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Reunited Replacements on “The Tonight Show”

    Last night, The Replacements appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and performed the song “Alex Chilton” from their classic album Pleased To Meet Me (1987). The band features featuring founding members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson with Josh Freese (drums) and David Minehan (guitar).

    The Replacements, who recently launched a reunion tour, have not toured since 1991 so it was cool to see the great band playing together again. The performance on NBC on a show hosted by a Saturday Night Live alum is especially sweet considering that the band had been banned from the network’s Saturday Night Live show in 1986 after appearing drunk and destroying a dressing room. Reportedly, Fallon’s late-night show had been working for nearly a year to get “The Mats” to appear. Check it out.

    The song “Alex Chilton” is a tribute to the leader of the band Big Star. To listen to a whole concert from the reunited Replacements, check out this story.

    What is your favorite song by The Replacements? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Replacements Reunite

    While everyone is buzzing about the MTV Video Music Awards, there actually was a major music event last night. The Replacements reunited for the first time in 22 years at Riot Fest in Toronto. Rolling Stone reports that nearly 10,000 people showed up for the historic event with Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson, along with drummer Josh Freese and Dave Minehan on guitar.

    The band’s 23-song set spanned their career and included a number of covers. So far, there are a few videos from the performance on YouTube. But for now, you may hear the entire performance streaming below courtesy of The Replacements – Live Archive Project. It is an audience recording, but it is still worth turning up your speakers and checking out.

    The Replacements will play again September 15th in Chicago and September 21st in Denver.

    What is your favorite song by The Replacements? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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