It would be hard to find a character in rock and roll who has played the part better than Tommy Stinson. From his beginnings as bassist of the legendary Replacements to his current tenure with Guns N’ Roses and Soul Asylum, Tommy has always done things his own way and has lived to tell the tale.
The story begins with seminal Minneapolis band The Replacements. Tommy started the group with his big brother Bob at the tender age of 13. His spirited bass playing, sense of style, and impenetrable bullshit detector helped make the band special. He dropped out of high school a few years later to focus on touring full-time, and hasn’t looked back. Until the Replacements unceremonious demise in 1991, Tommy and his bandmates found themselves hazily thrashing through the world with reckless abandon. Their unpredictable shows are the stuff of legend — nobody that has ever seen the Replacements on stage will ever forget it. In the end, all he had to show for it was a few bruises and a hell of a reputation to uphold.
Only 24 when the band broke up, Tommy set off on his own and formed the Faces-flavored group Bash & Pop. In 1993, Bash & Pop released the album Friday Night Is Killing Me on Warner Bros. His next group, the power-pop quartet Perfect, released a highly acclaimed EP and created a big buzz on the L.A. music scene. However, their 1997 full-length album was shelved due to record label tomfoolery. It was eventually released in 2004, under the name Once, Twice, Three Times a Maybe.
Tommy’s life took yet another interesting turn in 1998, when Axl Rose asked him to be the new bassist in Guns N’ Roses. Since then, he has writing, recording, and touring the world with them. His fingerprints are all over the Chinese Democracy album and his signature presence on stage adds a unique dimension to this notoriously great live band.
In 2004, Stinson released his first solo album Village Gorilla Head on Sanctuary Records. It was well received by the music press and fans alike. He subsequently toured behind the album backed by his friends The Figgs and Alien Crime Syndicate as his backing bands.
In 2005, Tommy was asked to fill in on bass for Soul Asylum (with his high school pal Dave Pirner) after bassist and founding member Karl Mueller succumbed to cancer. The following year he helped finish recording The Silver Lining album with them. He still writes, records, and plays shows with the band whenever he can, and relishes playing with his old friends.
There are no plans of slowing down in the future for our fearless friend. In August 2011, Tommy will release a new solo effort entitled One Man Mutiny on his own Done To Death Music and as well as continue to tour with Guns N’ Roses and Soul Asylum.