Rank Strangers – Little Shiva’s Song 4/9/2014
“Little Shiva’s Song” by Robert Dunlap
Mike Wisti: drums
Davin Odegaard: guitar
Shawn Davis: bass
The first time I saw Slim Dunlap was August 5, 1987 at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan. He was the new guitar player for The Replacements. I had been aware of The Replacements for a couple of years and from my point of view at the time, they were just about the best band. A group of fans up in the balcony, stage left had made posters of previous guitar player Bob Stinson’s face and kept waving them around throughout the show. Finally, Westerberg got ahold of one of the photos, managed to cut holes in it to see and breathe through and held in place by rubber bands, Slim wore the Bob Stinson mask for several songs. It was pretty funny. Slim was literally The Replacement.
I moved to Minneapolis in the early nineties and met Slim in 1994 at The Terrarium where The Sycamores were recording. He was immediately about the nicest, friendliest, most genuine rockstar you could ever hope to meet. Very cool in every sense.
In 2001 the drummer in Slim’s band, Brien Lilja gave me a cassette of The Sentimentals, one of Slim’s bands from the seventies. I heard a lot of the The Replacements sound in The Sentimentals. Especially the guitar. And The Sentimentals pre-dated the The Replacements by years! It kind of blew my mind, the thought of Westerberg working with the very guy (Slim) who had so influenced his own guitar playing.
I have had the pleasure of playing and recording with Slim many times over the years and there is nobody like him. His songs and his weird snaky, sneaky, supercool approach to rock and roll guitar. A true Minnesota Original.
And I have never heard Slim play a wrong note. There aren’t any.
– Mike Wisti