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Thursday, June 19, 2008


Clarkie nailed me on this truly offensive omission. A few years back Clarkie, Chuck and I went to the Warsaw in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see Paul Westerberg.

I'm not a huge fan of the solo show. Neil Young does it well, but he also does a second set with a band. I like to see bands. Westerberg proved the exception.

Paul performed a lengthy set of Replacements and Westerberg solo faves all by his lonesome, with only living room furniture joining him on the stage. It was not a 'solo acoustic' set as most of these type of shows are. Paul played some acoustic, but rounded it out with various electric guitars.

It was a great show, he played a ton of tunes, and I ate perogies and kielbasa - a feature found only at the Warsaw.
Toward the end of the show, Paul invited twenty or so audience members to join him onstage, lounge in the living room, and sing along. Clarkie was among them. Dreams do come true.

Anybody get a recording of Clarkie's isolated mic?
I almsost forgot about the kielbasi...and let's don't forget the tasty Polish beer. Made for a unique experience. Which reminds me of the time Jackson played in Greenpoint and I got to enjoy some kielbasi on my pizza before the show. I'm thinking I like some Polish flavor with my rocking and my rolling.

P.S. No mic on Clarkie. I do have a photo, though, of PW and me and my buddy Steve. Plus Chuck found some of the experience on YouTube but I'm not sure if it's from the same night.
I missed that tour, but JC from Strikes Again! saw Paul on this tour and was one of the 20 invited up on stage, grabbing a toy harmonica. Reportedly, during 'Here Comes A Regular', Johnny started playing the end-of-song melody at the first break. Paul stopped and looked back at him, and the crowd went wild.

When the song got to the right moment, JC had gone diplomatically silent. But when Paul reached that part of the song, he looked back at John and (paraphrasing) said, "are you gonna play the part now?"

Footnote: I missed that show because I was playing a benefit gig with Moneyshot at Northsix. John called me and told me that Paul was signing autographs. And as the biggest Replacements fan he knew, he said he could pass on a message to Paul during the signing. I told John to ask Paul about 'Treatment Bound', the song that closes 'Hootenanny' and is one of the very few songs that got recorded in the FBI-sealed Smoke and Mirrors space.

John got to Paul, who wrote this:

"Dear Mike. Get help. Paul Westerberg"

Two years later, I joined a band called Get Help. Sometimes, the stars are aligned.
what is it about paul and beer?
What is "the FBI sealed Smoke and Mirrors space?"... sounds like a good story.
It wasn't the FBI, although that does sound cooler. Two years ago Chris and I moved our studio to a large space that we sublet. We spent two months and over $3,000.00 building it out. One day I showed up with John the carpenter to put up the last section of the last wall only to find the cops. They sealed up the whole building. Turns out the guy we were renting from hadn't been paying the rent for some time.
It's a long story that involves a crime family, a jailed landlord, many lawyers and 6 weeks of our gear being locked up in the building.

We got our stuff back, mostly - there was some theft while the building was 'sealed', but we felt lucky enought to have gotten any stuff back at all.

We found another space, and now yet another....
Am I to assume that Treatment Bound was recorded at your ill fated former studio?
MikeDot's inspired solo acoustic version was, yes.
Westerberg's whole set from one of those Warsaw shows are up at YouTube:
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