CORRECTION: The story was updated at 4:19 p.m. on July 20 to say that Tommy Stinson never got to play live with Josh Freese.
Multitalented musician Tommy Stinson, formerly of The Replacements (1979–1991, 2012–2015), Bash & Pop (1992–1994), Perfect (1995-1998), Guns N' Roses (1998-2014) and Soul Asylum (2005-2014), likes to play things loose, going where the wind, or his muse, takes him. It's how he will approach his show Friday night on the back patio of Lo Main on Main Street.
"I do about an hour-and-some set," Stinson said in a telephone interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "It's a broken-down version of some solo stuff and the other stuff I've done. I just kind of wing it.
"It's not a club atmosphere, and I like that. It's a little less formal after all the nonsense of playing gigs from here to there. It's a lot less stress, and then it turns into a whole experience."
Lo Main co-owner Justin Savage said the show is more of a house concert and will take place on the venue's back porch and that the parking area will be closed off.
If you go
* What: Tommy Stinson
* When: 7 p.m. Friday, July 15
* Where: Lo Main, 2315 E. Main St.
* Admission: $25-$100
* Tickets: Tommystinson.com
"I wanted to do this show last year, but this worked out," Savage said via telephone. "I love The Replacements and some Bash & Pop stuff, and I've seen some videos of what he is doing. It's great."
Stinson said his approach to the show pretty much mirrors his approach to how he has curated his career, which is to say he has tried to put himself in good places around good people and let things happen. Take for instance his stints with Guns N' Roses and Soul Asylum.
"I've never been a gun for hire, or whatever," he said. "Even the gig with Guns N' Roses. It was a bit of a lark that I auditioned for. I did it because of my friend Josh Freese. I thought it'd be fun to hang out with Josh, and I got hired on the spot and thought it'd be a funny bit. I loved it, but I never got to play a gig with him."
His stint with Soul Asylum came about because he knew Karl Mueller, who was married at the time to Stinson's former girlfriend.
"I've been lucky to have these kinds of quality things pop up," he said. "I never pursued them."
He does appreciate them, however, and said he's recently found himself looking back and marveling at his life and career.
"I do it all the time and I'll be honest, when I look back, it helps me realize how lucky I've been."
He said he recently found a picture of himself around the time he was finishing his eighth-grade year.
"I look like I am miserable," he said. "Anything could have been going on. I didn't have the best parenting going on, but I got lucky."
He said the lucky break he got was his brother, Bob, teaching him to play bass. The two would eventually join Paul Westerberg and Chris Mars in forming The Replacements, one of the seminal new rock bands to come out of Minneapolis in the '70s.
He said the city and the music scene there at the time, which included bands like Prince, the Time, the Suburbs, and Hüsker Dü, were very eclectic and very competitive, but also supportive. Again, being in the right place at the right time played a key role in his life and career.
"Oh, it was very important," he said of scene.
"I'll give you the straight dope on this: Minneapolis was unlike any scene before or since that I know of. The scene had a major impact on us. The musical scene was happening, and it was a total renaissance.
"We all hung out together and played together, but it was also very competitive, even when we were playing in different places."
He said The Replacements, which had a reputation for being hard partiers on and off the stage, took their music seriously and were focused on creating good songs. Tracks like "Alex Chilton," "Here Comes a Regular" and "I Will Dare" were smart and catchy without being too mainstream.
"We didn't want to be another dumb rock band," Stinson said. "We were not a punk band, we just liked good songs and good music.
"At the time, a lot of our peers wanted to make hits and be on the radio and be successful. We didn't clamor for it in the way some of our peers did, but we liked good music and we were not just knuckleheads. We had something to say."