The Replacements circa 1987: from left, Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars, Paul Westerberg and Slim Dunlap.

Minneapolis is officially showing a local music hero the love for Valentine's Day. The result of an online petition started by fans and peers, Mayor R.T. Rybak has declared this Feb. 14 Bob "Slim" Dunlap Day in the city. Whether or not that means the mayor will swipe clean whatever criminal record might be left from Dunlap's time served in the Replacements, the declaration at least means Rybak and other Twin Cities music lovers are very much still thinking of the singer/songwriter/guitar-ace as he nears his second year of recuperation from a severe stroke.

"WHEREAS, Slim has contributed to the music and cultural scene of Minneapolis for over four decades," reads the mayor's official proclamation. The loveliest bit comes near the end, which rightfully calls Dunlap "a clear example to others that even the nicest person can achieve considerable success and still maintain their genuine modesty."

After another extended stay in a hospital last month, Dunlap was fortunately at home again to receive the news this week. More news should be coming in a week or two on the first installment of the 7-inch "Songs for Slim" auction series, featuring Steve Earle's version of one of Dunlap's best-loved tunes, "Times Like This," alongside Hold Steady frontman Crag Finn's locally recorded rendition of "Isn't It?" The Finn track, by the way, featured a local all-star backing crew of Kraig Johnson, Ed Ackerson, Peter Anderson and Jacques Waits.

That first in a dozen 7-inches follows last month's auction of the 250-edition Replacements EP in Slim's honor, which raised a whopping $105,000 toward his medical expenses. Auction updates are available along with T-shirts and other full-time fundraiser items via

[Photo: Dan Corrigan]