A band that famously avoided music videos for the first three-quarters of their career, the Replacements are suddenly wham-bamming them in 2021 — including a new one that might go down as one of the most iconic rock videos ever filmed in Minneapolis.
Buildings and people who were integral to the quartet's heyday are featured in the video for the 40-year-old song "Takin' a Ride." It debuted online Wednesday as part of Rhino/Warner Records' ambitious roll-out of a four-CD/one-LP box-set edition of the 'Mats' 1981 debut, "Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash," which lands Oct. 22.
Jon Clifford — proprietor of HiFi Hair & Records and a lead cheerleader in the Twin Cities music scene — serves as a tour guide of sorts in the video. He takes viewers for a ride around town in his '63 Pontiac Catalina convertible with his faithful dog Fred by his side. Along the way, he runs into a who's-who/what's-what of local figures and locations.
Here's the cast, in order of appearance: former First Avenue ringleaders Steve McClellan (now lead guru at HiFi Records) and Kevin Cole (club DJ now at KEXP in Seattle); Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg's kid sister Mary Lucia (now a DJ at 89.3 the Current), who makes a very brief but, um, impressionable cameo; and Anita and Lonnie Stinson, mom and sister of Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson and guitarist Bob Stinson.
Among the sites past and present seen on the ride are: Butler Square, the Longhorn Bar, 7th St. Entry, Paradise Ballroom in Waconia, Blackberry Way in Dinkytown, Oar Folkjokeopus record store, the C.C. Club, the Modesto apartment building, the "Dogbreath House" and the "Let It Be House." Each location is shown with footnotes explaining their relevance.
An example of how insider-y and small-townish this whole affair is: Clifford's sidekick Fred was adopted from Mutt Mutt Engine, a rescue dog service run by Replacements drummer Chris Mars and his wife Sally Schneidkraut Mars. And maybe the most beautiful touch: Clifford's plaid jacket in the video belongs to sidelined late-era Replacements guitarist Bob "Slim" Dunlap.
"I am still kind of peeing myself that they asked me to do it," Clifford said Wednesday, explaining that filming took place in "sweltering heat" in late July and early August – and that director Eric Kassel and the crew wanted "to include nods to all the members." Mission accomplished.
"Takin' a Ride" is the third new video issued to promote the "Sorry Ma" box set. There's also a fun doodle-style animated clip for "Shutup" and a black-and-white mini-film for "I Hate Music," the latter harking back to the band's famous first music-video-which-isn't-really-a-video for 1986's "Bastards of Young."
Pre-orders of the "Sorry Ma" mega-set are available now via Rhino.com for $80-$110 with optional limited-edition extras, such as a replica of the band's first 7-inch single.