THE SHIT HITS THE FANS

Recorded live at the Bowery, Oklahoma City, November 11 1984
An exact CD reproduction of the cassette-only live album released at the end of 1984. This album came from a tape which was confiscated from an audience member at the end of the show. Listening to it in the van the next day, the Mats liked it so much they decided to release it. This CD includes the original cover drawing by Chris Mars, as well as Paul's original liner notes. A great sounding, amusing show in which the Mats take requests and perform 30 second versions of a lot of hits (other people's hits, of course).

The following is the story of the recording, posted on alt.music.replacements on 11/1/1996 by Bil MacLeslie, the Replacements' sound man at the time:
I really would be surprised if TwinTone actually made 10,000 copies of The Shit Hits The Fans. The figure of 2,000 is more realistic and also strikes a strong chord in my memory. You must remember that the 'Mats were not a large money making venture for TwinTone and during late 1984 when the SHTF tape was released, TwinTone was somewhat reluctant to put any more dollars into the 'Mats during that (fiscal) year. I won't quote exactly how many SHTF tapes were made because I wasn't involved in that part of the process (and besides, I don't know).

All this talk about "Can't Hardly Wait" made me go get the master (YES the MASTER of The Shits Hits The Fans, it's on a Maxell XL II-S) out of storage and listen to it again just so I could be clear on the facts.

For the live version of "Can't Hardly Wait," Paul and I had serious contention about the echo that was to happen during the two stops. Paul wanted the echo to do this (capital letters are echoes, lowercase are sung words):

"...and i can't hardly wait.WAIT" He wanted an eighth note slap back echo. I disagreed with the placement of the echo against the streaming guitars which had always been there. I suggested a quarternote and placed a quiet quarternote slap on his voice throughout the song. Paul's point is driven home when he can be heard cussing me out at the end of the last stop saying "Mack!"

Ooops! I fucked up again! He didn't hear his eight note and I was in trouble.

In either case, every version I had ever heard live before the song was recorded ALWAYS had the guitars streaming thru the stops. Bob played the streaming guitar exactl y as Paul requested. It worked that way and I was sorely disappointed when the recorded version turned out so vastly different from the live version.

BTW, before the cut of "Can't Hardly Wait" on SHTF, Paul can be heard saying: "Guys wanna move up closer? Don't gotta, but, man..." This was because there were about 25 people in the Bowery [in Oklahoma City, OK]. This place is about as large as First Avenue (sorry for those who haven't been to either place.)

Before the cut of "Sixteen Blue" on SHTF, Paul can be heard saying "Give me some echo Mr. Mack." This song was a strong contender for my favorite and I mixed the hell out of this song. I remember having tears come to my eyes in Columbus, OH while Pete Buck squeaked out a mandolin solo and Paul seared his soul on a microphone before his guitar solo. I have many memories of Columbus and one is when X and the Mats shared a stage in a club that can't recall the name of.

There is another tidbit about the SHTF tape that I can share. During "I Hear You Been To College," a break in the recording can be heard. This is Paul listening to the cassette on a Walkman and him accidentally pressing record. The fuck! I shoulda never given him the tape. Listening closely, he says "Stop, 's'enough." I remember hearing the dropout and nearly crying. This was the best live bootleg tape I had ever heard. (I was only 20 at the time). I had confiscated tapes at the 611 in Atlanta, at CBGB's in NYC and the Disney College of Art and Design in California. None were like this one.

Now, the story of the SHTF tape. It goes like this, let there be no more LIES about the origins of the tape! At the Bowery, there were about 25-35 people at the end of the night. It was a COLD November evening (for Oklahoma) and most of the students who usually hung out at the Bowery were home for Thanksgiving. There was a balcony and directly above my mixing position was where the famous tape deck was.

As usual, I wandered during the show to hear how the system sounded around the club and staggered upstairs to hear how bad it sounded up there. Up to this moment, the band had been imbibing more and more and was getting louder and louder. Being curious as to how the sound was up on the balcony, I walked over to the front edge and saw this tape deck and a man standing nearby gives me a smile and nod. I walk up and listen at the spot he was recording from.

It sounded absolutely fucking GREAT! I walked over to the deck and opened it. I took the tape out. The way you hear it end on the distributed release (and many bootlegs), is how it ended in real life. I cut the taping during "Let it Be." Synchronicity had struck. I put the tape in my pocket and walked away. The guy was flabbergasted. I knew he had no permission to tape the show. He may have known who I was, he may not have. I told him bluntly that the taping of Replacements shows was not permitted and I was confiscating the tape. Period. I had confiscated many tapes during that tour. None had come close to this tape.

That's it. There's nothing more to it. No fist fights, no bribes, (that's another tour) no pleading, (no more than the usual). The following morning we got up and I started driving. I recall being told to PULL OVER!, we gotta make a stop. I pulled over and the band and Peter hopped out. A camera came out and the picture of IOWA was shot.

The rest is history. Someday I would like to meet the person who made this tape. I would like to thank him and I'd even pay the $3.95 to him myself.
Bil MacLeslie

1. Lawdy Miss Clawdy    2. Sleeping Nights of Jesus    3. Lovelines    4. I'll Be There    5. Sixteen Blue    6. Can't Hardly Wait    7. I Will Dare    8. Hear You Been to College    9. Saturday Night Special    10. Iron Man    11. Misty Mountain Hop    12. Heartbreaker    13. Can't Get Enough of Your Love    14. Jailbreak    15. Breakdown    16. No More the Moon Shines on Loreena    17. Mirror Go Round    18. Left Here in the Dark    19. Takin' Care of Business    20. I Will Follow    21. Jumpin Jack Flask    22. Radio Free Europe    23. More Fun in the New World    24. Let it Be    
25. Interview with Paul

SOUND QUALITY: This disc comes from an astonishingly great sounding audience tape which ranks a 9 out of 10.