Photo by Ilya Mirman
While the Rock’n’Roll world keeps running out of legends, some are stomping along. With Tommy Stinson, it helped that he started stomping at 12 years old.
As bassist for the legendary Replacements, Tommy grew up in dive bars and theater backstages, 3 a.m. house parties and 3 p.m. major label office meetings. So when his first band broke up, he was at the age when most people just formed their first band, but packing the experiences of a liver-transplanted vet.
He took his intense talents and experiences into an ever-expanding solo career that has included new bands, like the trash-happy Bash & Pop and Perfect, a wild bumpy ride as bassist for Guns N’ Roses, and a smashing Replacements reunion run a few years ago. In 2017, his reunited Bash & Pop released arguably Stinson’s best solo material on the appropriately titled album, Anything Could Happen (Fat Possum). And before the engine could cool on that hotrod, Stinson started up the roots-rattling duo, Cowboys in the Campfire.
In his down time (which is way more crazed than most people’s up time), you might see him stumble onto a Bowery bar stage to jam with old heroes like Walter Lure (Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers) or Wayne Kramer (MC5), and the next night see him in the crowd bopping his head to the newest garage goofs in Brooklyn somewhere. Loveable to his core, but liable to fling an empty beer bottle across the room, Tommy Stinson has retained the spirit of that teen runaway, maybe because he never stopped running.
So what can you expect if you decide to go see him on this solo acoustic tour? It’s anyone’s guess, except you’ll walk out humming some of the tunes and inspired by a night hanging out with a Rock’n’Roll legend. And how often does that happen?
– Eric Davidson, singer, New Bomb Turks; author, We Never Learn