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'Color Me Obsessed,' Replacements documentary out today

"Color Me Obsessed," a documentary film about the Replacements, is being released Nov. 20, 2012. Photo Credit: Handout

“Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements” is bookended, appropriately enough, by a fan’s recollections playing from an answering machine.

It was “Answering Machine,” one of the band’s most evocative songs from 1984’s “Let It Be,” that helped, for better or worse, push the Minneapolis quartet to the major leagues and to its demise. “Color Me Obsessed,” which is new to DVD today, traverses The Replacements’ lifespan, from the group’s birth as Dogbreath to its end on July 4, 1991, after a show in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Filmmaker Gorman Bechard crams two hours not with band interviews or music, but with fans memories. From rock critics (Chicago Tribune’s Greg Kot) to actors (George Wendt, Tom Arnold, Dave Foley) to musicians (Husker Du’s Grant Hart, The Goo Goo Dolls, the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn).

There also are some local takes. Former Newsday and Village Voice critic Robert Christgau offers his three cents, as does Trouser Press boss and another former Newsday guy, the great Ira Robbins. Donna Donna, the legendary WLIR (and now WBAB) DJ weighs in as well.

It’s clear that the band – singer-songwriter Paul Westerberg, guitarist Bob Stinson, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Chris Mars – was nothing less than a religous experience for Bechard. His 1991 novel “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told” was about the daughter of God, Ilona. She was a Replacements fan, too.

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