July 2 — SIXTEEN BLUE, The Replacements (1984)

IMG_1923After 18 months of living in Minneapolis, I moved to Tulsa in the summer of 1990, and worked for a struggling alternative paper called Uptown News. My first week there, in comes a skinny kid with a cigarette and a Replacements T-shirt. He was there to drop off an album review. His name was Steve Higgins.

We music people can sniff out kindred spirits within minutes. Sometime in the next week or two, Steve and his wife Linda invited me to their house for dinner and music. With a stack of albums under my arm, I walked across Braden Park for the first of countless nights — hundreds, probably — over the years of dinner, conversation and music. We were restless spirits, and seeing where the conversation and music would go was part of the fun.

Today Steve turns 50. Our get-togethers are less frequent since I moved to Oklahoma City, and a variety of factors — age, responsibility, sobriety, family — have thankfully made them more tame.

But the kindred spirit remains, and so does the common language. P.W.I.G. Happy birthday, Stevie Boy.


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