From “Stranger Things” to the comeback of mom jeans and films like “Ready Player One,” it seems like the ’80s are making a comeback.
In Athens, The Replacements Tribute Show, which is part of author Bill Sullivan’s book tour across the United States and Europe, exemplifies this ’80s comeback. His book is called “Lemon Jail: On the Road with The Replacements” and focuses on his firsthand experience as a roadie with the popular band.
In the book, he reminisces about simpler times.
“We drive from town to town making mistakes and making friends, climbing the ladder of fortune and fame, missing a few rungs here and there and falling back down,” said Sullivan. “It's a lot about me, just a kid from the Midwest all of a sudden driving around the world, seeing all this stuff he thought he'd never see. It's from my eyes, so it's not the official diary of The Replacements. A turnip fell off a truck and he looked around and this is what he saw.”
The idea for the show in Athens came from DeWitt Burton, former manager of R.E.M.
“I organized it for my friend Bill Sullivan with Seth [Hendershot],” Burton said. “We came up with an idea for Bill to come down here and do a reading. I know a few Athens bands. We got with them and asked if they wanted to play some Replacements songs.”
Musicians playing include David Barbe, Bloodkin, The HEAP and more.
Besides the musicians, the most important figure of the night is Sullivan.
“Bill Sullivan is an important figure in indie rock,” Burton said. “He’s been a tour manager for many, many, many bands at all different levels. A lot of them have ties to Athens.
During the night, Sullivan will read from parts of his book and host a Q&A session, which will be moderated by his editor, Chuck Reece. During the Q&A session, fans are welcome to ask Sullivan questions about being on the road with The Replacements or anything else they would like to know about life as a tour manager or roadie.
After that, there will be a break where musicians will perform Replacements songs.
On his tour, Sullivan plans to visit places all over the country. He also also plans to tour around Europe.
The point of the show in Athens is not only to promote his new book, but also to pay tribute to The Replacements and raise money for the Boys and Girls Club in Athens.
Athens holds a special place in Sullivan’s heart.
“Athens was the place — the place where we learned all about how to graduate from a tiny rock and roll band and roadies — those guys taught us everything,” Sullivan said.