Stumbling over the Mats in downtown Joliet
Last Friday, while driving home from the train station, I was stopped in traffic waiting for a river drawbridge to reopen. It was a warm day and I had the window rolled down, as did the twentysomething guy in the next car. He was cranking his stereo, rocking out to a song that I had never heard, though the band sounded vaguely familiar. The singer reminded me of Paul Westerberg of the Replacements, but the song rocked harder and more raggedy than any of his solo work that I'm familiar with. I finally turned off my radio, trying to hear the song more clearly. The only words I could discern was the phrase "temptation eyes", which was repeated enough times to be, I hoped, its title.
So when I got home I googled "temptation eyes", with the top results being the 60s folk-rock band The Grass Roots, who apparently did the original. But I figured the raucous version I heard couldn't have been by that band, so I then scrolled down further in the results and found that the song had, indeed, been covered by the Replacements. It was a previously unreleased outtake from the Let It Be era, and was recently released as a bonus track on the reissued edition of that great album, which to my mind was the Replacements' best. Over the weekend I streamed the song several times on Grooveshark, and love it. Since I already own the original album, I'll probably download just the bonus tracks soon.
This discovery pleased me on two levels: one, to stumble on unknown songs from the heyday of one of my old favorite bands; and two, the fact that there's actually a young guy out there (probably not unlike myself at that same age) who rocks out to Mats outakes that are almost thirty years old. So there's still hope for today's youth. Thank you, Cass Street Bridge.