Westerberg in 2002 / By Tom Sweeney (Star Tribune)

Westerberg in 2002 / By Tom Sweeney (Star Tribune)

It's no secret that Paul Westerberg is a bigtime baseball/Twins fan. Something that's a little less known is whether or not he's still alive. Lo and behold, the Replacements frontman reserfaced yesterday, and the surface he chose was the turf at Target Field. He was filmed there for an in-the-works documentary "40 Nights of Rock 'n' Roll." The movie sounds like a sort of rock 'n' roll travelogue that will also feature Drive-by Truckers, Of Montreal, Jonsi, Big Star's Jody Stephens and many more, all in different cities. One of the two filmmakers is former Paste magazine associate editor Steve LaBate, who has written on Westerberg, plus he wrote a story about the relationship between rock and baseball that got him acquainted with the Twins' great music director Kevin Dutcher, a k a The Guy Whose Job I Want (right behind the T-shirt gunner).


All those loose connections rounded the bases yesterday, as Westerberg played a new baseball-related song as well as the LaBate-requested "Time Flies Tomorrow" for the cameras. According to an account provided by the crew, they all "sat down on the dugout and talked about rock & roll and Big Star and the Beatles and the Stones and Brownsville Station; they traded stories about Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, and then they all got to jump down on the warning track for a few minutes."

So apparently this is what it's going to take to get Paul back rocking in front of our faces: Entice him with baseball. Maybe Joe Mauer can start a record label, Mauer Records, a la Mauer Chevrolet? Or how about a Stubhub-like ticket swap where his fans offer him some of our seats in exchange for tickets to a gig he will play at a day and venue TBA? Mine are in Sec. 125, Row 19. Who else?

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