“Pretty As You Please” written by Jeremy Porter
Recorded at The Loft, Saline, MI by Tim & Andy Patalan, December 2014.
Performed by Jeremy Porter and the Tucos:
Jeremy Porter – Guitar, Vocals
Gabriel Doman – Drums, Vocals
Patrick O’Harris – Bass, Vocals
Aaron Larson – Saxophone
Saturday March 11, 1989, 8 AM. I was driving south on State Street in Ann Arbor, head pounding, guts churning and ears ringing from the night before. It was the opening night of the Don’t Tell a Soul tour, and there had been no shortage of revelry…and rock and roll. In the parking lot of the Crowne Plaza Hotel were two tour buses with a couple tall, thin, pasty figures milling about. “Is it? It must be.” I thought, so I pulled in and drove up to the bus. Slim walked over to my car and we exchanged hellos. “Nothin’ like gettin’ up early with a hangover and the damn tour bus is broken down.” He bemoaned and took a pull from a cigarette, as if he’d expected me to pull up, like we’d been friends for years, drank beers regularly, and went record shopping together.
I complimented him on last night’s show. It was my third time seeing the Replacements, second with Slim, and they were great. “Was it loud enough? I mean…was it LOUD?” he wanted to know. It seemed really important to him. “Well, yeah, it was loud.” I said, not wanting to disappoint him. I mean, it was loud, but it wasn’t Dinosaur Jr. or Young Fresh Fellows loud (to this day, the two loudest bands I’ve seen), but it was pretty loud, I guess. “Loudest band I ever saw?” Slim asked himself, unprovoked. “Motörhead. God damn they were fuckin’ loud.” He shook his head and his eyes squinted and turned towards the sky, obviously transported back to that show for a moment.
“Where you playing tonight?” I asked, just making conversation.
“I dunno. Cleveland or Dayton or something.” He snapped back into reality.
“Do you know if it’s sold out?” My mind starting to tick. “Yeah, I think so.” He looked at me inquisitively. “Why – you don’t wanna go, do ya?”
Well, I hadn’t thought about it before that moment, but yeah, I wanted to go. I had to work. I had friends to coordinate with, all of whom were currently sleeping off their own headaches and sour stomachs. But – hell yeah. Shit – no paper or pen in my car. “Just tell me your name – I’ll remember.” He assured me. “Yeah, right.” I said with a smile. Slim climbed onto the bus, found a pen and paper, walked back to my car and handed it to me through the window. “Here ya go – you and your thirty best friends.” He said with a half-serious grin as he handed me the pen. I was happy with me +2. “Thanks, man. See ya’ tonight!” We shook hands and I drove off to work.
Ten hours later my two pals and I were on I-75 south heading towards Cincinnati (not Dayton or Cleveland). We got lost and missed the support band (13 Engines) but caught a great Replacements set. After the show we ran out of gas just north of the Michigan line, sometime around 4 AM. There were beers and police and helpful friends from Ann Arbor all involved from that point on, but it was a great night, and we have Slim to thank for it.
Fast forward about 21 years and I found myself sound-checking at Palmer’s Bar in Minneapolis. It was the last night of a long solo-acoustic run and my first time playing in the Twin Cities in over 10 years. “Welcome to Minneapolis!” The sound guy said. “I love this city.” I told him. “Playing here is a big deal for me. The music that came from here, man… it’s more of a pilgrimage coming here, not just another show.”
“You don’t need to tell me about that.” He said with a smile. “My dad was in The Replacements.” That was when I met Louie Dunlap and told him the above story. He seemed to get a kick out it and we had a laugh. Like his pop, Louie was a genuine, warm guy who made you feel like long friends after just a few words.
When Slim had the stroke, like everyone, I was crushed. He was more than a photo on the back of a record or that guy I met once in a parking lot. He was that pal who tells the best stories, that guitarist with the tastiest licks (the solo in “They’re Blind” still kills me), that guy you know who was larger than life and just another dude at the same time. He still is those things – and somehow even more now.
We’re happy to find a home for this song of ours, and so humbled to be in such great company with all the other contributors, but most of all we’re happy to do whatever we can, in our small way, to help Slim and Chrissie through times like this.
Xo & Godspeed, Bob.
JP December 2015