Just a few facts about this bed-spin inducing performance of Iron Man by The Replacements. On January 25th, 1985, before The Replacements had once again dissolved into a pile of drunk messes on stage, the manager of the Bowery in New York, Roscoe Shoemaker, asked if he could tape the band. To which Paul Westerberg replied “Why? We suck.”.
Despite Westerberg’s foreboding advice, Shoemaker hooked up his equipment and hit record. About 50 or so minutes into the show, Replacements roadie Bill Sullivan spotted the recorder, and grabbed the tape. But apparently, on their way back to Minnesota, the band listened to the tape and thought that it was a spot-on representation of the group. 10,000 copies of the cassette, ‘The Sh*t Hits the Fans‘. The entire run sold out almost immediately. No shit.
There were 24 songs on the cassette, but only five were Replacements originals. Other covers on the tape were Saturday Night Special, by Lynyrd Skynrd, Misty Mountain Hop, by Led Zeppelin, and Jailbreak, by Thin Lizzy. Most of the covers attempted by the inebriated cult band that night lasted about 90 seconds, before going completely off the rails. Iron Man lasted an astonishing and cringe worthy 1:40. And say what you will about Ozzy Osbourne, even a lifetime of pouring booze on his liver and filling his head with chemicals, he still remembers the lyrics to Iron Man. Unlike the 1985 version of Paul Westerberg.