Another Happy Birthday to Paul, from Bob Mehr (with bonus story)!

Happy birthday to Paul Harold Westerberg – born 58 years ago on a particularly frigid New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Replacements co-founder, revered solo artist, *the* singer-songwriter of his generation. The Johnson to my Boswell, as well as the only person to ever mail me a body part (a molar – it’s a long story). Here’s a footnote about his arrival into the world, coming in the final hours of 1959, that was cut from my Replacements bio “Trouble Boys.” —In later years Westerberg would concoct an elaborate fantasy scenario about the night of his birth. He imagined Hal rushing a contracting Mary Lou down to the University of Minnesota hospital located on the West Bank, near a student section called Dinkytown. His father would slam on his brakes and honk the horn at a scruffy looking boho ambling through a crosswalk. The chubby cheeked kid was wearing a shabby coat and guitar on his back. It was Robert Zimmerman, soon to become Bob Dylan. The native son of Hibbing, Minnesota was living in Dinkytown when Paul came mewling into the world. He would imagine their kinship — Dylan on the cusp of greatness, him just being born – as some kind of omen, and write a blues number about it in 2004 called “MPLS”: “On the Mississippi River, I was born in ’59/Down in Dinkytown, old Bob Dylan freezing his behind.” #paulwesterberg #thereplacements #troubleboys

A post shared by Bob Mehr (@bobmehr3) on

On the Mississippi River, I was born in ’59
Mississippi River, I was born in ’59
Down in Dinkytown, old Bob Dylan freezin’ his behind

Go down to the shore, drink us some wine
Well we tumble down to the shore, drinkin’ some wine
I only did it one time

Took a whole lot of girls, then went down to the shore
Took a whole lot of girls there, then went down to the shore
Took a boy down once, played the blues, and he ain’t here no more

Well it’s MPLS
The place that I like best
Well it’s MPLS
The place that I like best
Don’t call, don’t call, no St. Paul
MPLS, yes yes


MPLS — 1 Comment

  1. Hey,Bill’s sister,Jodi. Think you’re the same guy I used to yell to you and my brother “TURN THAT SH*T DOWN!” in our Richfield basement. 62nd Sheridan Ave
    Bill Sautbine died 1/23. Obit next Sunday. If interested in details, my contact info… text 952.529.5107 email digitaljo17@aol Glad to see one from our “hood” did well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.