Just one day after a legendary Minneapolis band finally reunited following a member's health scare, one-time Replacements guitarist and quite possibly the nicest man in the local music scene, Slim Dunlap, is in the hospital recovering from a severe stroke. His wife Chrissie Dunlap (a former First Ave staffer, like Slim) reportedly wants to get word out on his condition for the many concerned well-wishers, so she posted this on her Facebook page late last night:
“Bob is in the SICU at HCMC. I am not going to sugarcoat this -- this morning he suffered a right middle cerebral artery stroke. He then fell and hit his head, resulting in a left vertebral artery dissection and a right subarachnoid hemorrhage.
"The good news is that he is sharp and aware, his speech is fine, and all of the nurses and doctors have commented on his unique sense of humor. The bad news is that he cannot move the right side of his body and will be in for some serious rehab. They will be giving him more tests tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage. I will try to post updates as we learn more. Louie will be with him all night and I will be back there tomorrow. We don't need a thing but your good wishes for his full recovery.”
A veteran guitarist from several of Curtiss A’s bands, Bob “Slim” Dunlap went from working as a janitor at First Ave to appearing on MTV and opening for Tom Petty when he joined the Replacements just before the release of 1987’s “Pleased to Meet Me.” Legend has it he initially turned down the offer.
After the Replacements’ breakup in 1991, he released two critically praised and still cult-loved mid-'90s albums, “The Old New Me” and “Times Like This.” He was not invited to play on the two “new” Replacements songs issued on a 2006 anthology. True to form, he said at the time, "I never got a call, nor would I have expected one,” and he graciously added, “It's really neat they put aside their little squabbles and did it."
Dunlap still regularly gigs around town at Palmer’s Bar and other low-key places, occasionally getting invited to more high-profile shows such as opening for Son Volt at the Minnesota Zoo in 2009. He celebrated his 60th birthday in August at the King’s Wine Bar second anniversary bash, where his old bandmates from the ‘90s showed up (unrehearsed) to back him as a birthday surprise. “Let’s do it again on my 70th,” Slim declared at the end of the set. All those in attendance agreed to hold him to that.