Road tripping with the Replacements ... what could go wrong?
As Replacements week continues, their reputation for concerts-gone-bad is legendary. Today we meet the Magnolias and their band led by John Freeman and his connection to a memorable Replacements concert of debauchery.
The Magnolias were one of the many rock bands making up the Minneapolis sound and in 1986 they were signed to Twin Tone Records, the same label that the Replacements were signed. Friendships ensued between the Magnolias and the Replacements. By the end of 1984, the Replacements had one of the best reviewed albums of the year with Let It Be, but crowds for the nightclub appearances were sparse. In Arizona, they ran into Magnolias' singer/guitarist John Freeman who was visiting family. He hitched a ride back home in January of 1985 with the band as they made one last stop in Oklahoma City to play at The Bowery with a capacity for 1,200 fans. Before the show, Keene followed orders to buy beer for the band and the resulting concert was a drunken disaster played before around 30 people.
By 1989, Freeman and the Magnolias were on their third Twin Tone album Dime Store Dream. Their lead single was the hard rocking Pardon Me with a video shot on a deserted industrial street on a cold Midwestern morning. The Magnolias are still around and released an album as late as 2011 with Freeman the only original member still in the band.