Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Replacements' "Maybelline" and "Bastards of Young"/For Mike Danko, Happy Birthday

This is for Mike Danko, the original Bedspins (not to be mistaken for the online Bedspins--this revolution was never televised) bassist, who taught me rock and roll has many branches, among them the Replacements, Cheap Trick, Husker Du, Kiss, Uncle Tupelo, Elvis, Led Zeppelin and Fugazi. (Apparently, he has Elton John on his facebook, just to keep everyone on their toes). I met Mike, a classics major in college, in an introduction to Russian language course. His bangs always dangled between us and his eyes. So it was always a wonder to see this retiring student of Pliny leap on stage and play bass on his back, like some sort of flipped bug.

Although we've never spoken about it, I'm sure he's approve both of the cover of "Maybelline" and the video of "Bastards of Young," which was a pretty provocative punk gesture during the early age of MTV. Even more strange is that MTV actually played this video a few times. My first impression was something on the order of "This Sucks!" Then I got it. In Westerberg's words, "Seen your video/That phony rock and roll/We don't wanna know."

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