Hi, We’re the Replacements

The man known only as “Sir” – singer, songwriter, legend of the silver guitar – was the founding member of the Replacements, the world’s finest They Might Be Giants cover band.

But TMBG material doesn’t work very well with just one guy on the guitar. You need, at very least, an accordionist and a backing singer. Drums, bass and a second guitar are also nice.

His early career was a difficult one, plagued by writer’s block and unhelpful presidential advice. Despite the unhelpfulness of the President – James K. Polk, the eleventh President – he and Sir would eventually become fast friends, and Polk spent much of retirement touring with the band, MCing their shows before tensions between him and the much shyer Sir eventually led to Polk leaving the band.

The band took a while to fill out – in particular, recruiting a rhthym section proved difficult, forcing Sir to resort to placing a want ad in various music stores. But finally, the necessary players were found.

On drums, he was joined by the inimitable (and handless) Doctor Worm. Worm, as is now well-known, is not a real doctor, (although he is a real worm) – but hey, not being a real doctor never stopped Doktor Avalanche, did it?

The band was completed by the bass-playing Hammurabi. Although a long-serving member of the Mesopotamians, Hammurabi eventually grew tired of labouring in obscurity (not to mention increasing frictions between himself and Ashurbanipal) and made a play for the big time.

As a three piece (four, including Polk), the band also hired a roadie to help move their equipment. Although Tommy is not a very good roadie, tending to get himself (and the band’s equipment) lost, he retains his employment with the band largely due to the sentimentality of its members.

Little information survives about the band’s touring schedule, although they are known to have been the only band to have simultaneously played in Constantinople and Istanbul. Their only other confirmed concert was in Berlin, which was memorably described by Sir as being like “a road movie.”

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