Not really about the band The Replacements but about some of the other musicians who have allegedly been replaced by a double for some reason or another.
Bob Dylan. On July 29th 1966 Dylan had a serious motorcycle crash. How serious isn’t really known to this day, there were and still are varying reports. Dylan himself rarely talks about the incident and it was in the aftermath of the accident that Dylan went into semi reclusion. The rumor is that Dylan actually died in the crash and that the record and management company replaced him with a lookalike from the Nashville folk scene.
Dylan did change his appearance after the crash, he went for a shorter hairstyle and was fuller in the face and a little heavier. His next album was recorded in Nashville and his voice sounded entirely different. Plus ‘Nashville Skyline’ is more or less a country album not a folk or rock album as those that preceded it.
Dylan himself has said that it was the relentless touring and poor diet that made him look unhealthy, and it could be said the post accident Dylan is more healthy looking that the borderline anorexic pre accident Dylan. Johnny Cash who duetted with Dylan on ‘Nashville Skyline’ describes Bob as being flat on his back in a neck brace. That would change the tone of anyones voice. Plus Dylan had used the clean voice before. As for the change of style it was only the second of many.
This rumor actually died because it was replaced by the next generation.
Paul McCartney. Okay we all know the story Paul died in a car crash so they got a lookalike to replace him. John set up the ‘Abbey Road’ cover as a coded image to tip fans the wink.
In January 1967 Paul did have a car accident, a minor fender bender. but because he was a Beatle the incident became a rumor and suddenly Paul was dead. However this was then forgotten. Fast forward to 1969 and the boys walking across the Zebra crossing. It’s a funeral for Paul.
John in white is the priest, Ringo in black the funeral director, Paul (or should that be ‘Paul’) barefoot the corpse and George in denim the gravedigger. Even the number plate on the VW parked in the background is part of the code. Then if you play some songs backward there are more codes.
In truth there is no evidence that Paul was replaced. He didn’t wear shoes because the whole thing was done in a rush. Iain Macmillan who made the image was given just a few minutes to take the shot. He took about a dozen of them all going back and fourth in various orders. A person from EMI’s art department chose the final image. George thought it was a rehearsal for the cover hence him not wearing his Tommy Nutter suit like the rest.
Nikki Sixx. Yep here is where things get a little weird. Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx real name Frank Feranna was supposedly hurt in a car crash in 1983 and replaced by a new Nikki Sixx this time Matthew Trippe. Trippe wrote all the hits for the bands breakthrough album ‘Theatre of Pain’ and its follow up ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ before being dumped in jail and the original Nikki returning. Between July 1983 and April 1986 Nikki Sixx was Trippe.
This story came to light when in 1988 Trippe filed a lawsuit against Crüe’s manager Doc MacGee and gave an interview to Kerrang magazine. Trippe claimed that he was contracted to be the new Nikki Sixx, he had tattoos that matched Nikki’s done and for three years he was Nikki Sixx. When he was busted on a drugs charge MacGee abandoned him in jail.
Part of the evidence was that Trippe was slightly heavier and fuller in the face than Sixx. However given the drugs both imbued a moon face and bloating is probable. Kerrang really run with the story, at one point printing comparison photos of navel’s! Trippe formed the short lived band Sixx Pack but after his case failed in 1993 mostly went under the radar until his death in 2013. A week before Crüe signed their ‘cease and desist’ document.
Was Nikki Sixx replaced. Probably not. Trippe had mental health issues and a drinking problem. Some images do seem to show a different looking Nikki Sixx but the point is why bother. When Sixx had his crash it would have been simpler for MacGee to cash in and come out with a profit than do anything else. However with the exception of one or two reposts of an interview, all information about the Sixx impersonation has been taken down from the internet.
Part of the reasoning for the case is that all legal documents, most notably the copy write documents held by the Library of Congress, use just the name Nikki Sixx, contrast that with guitarist Mick Mars whose songwriting credits are officially recorded as Robert Deal aka Mick Mars. Tommy Lee and Vince Neil both dropped their last names to create their stage names with Lee changing his legally in 1995. However Trippe claimed that only the name Nikki Sixx was used as a way of cheating him out of royalties, the truth is Feranna legally changed his name to Nikki Sixx before Mötley Crüe were formed.
In 1989 Sixx famously came back from the dead after a heroin overdose. Of course there were then even more rumors that he was once again replaced.
Nicki Minaj. What is it about people called Nicki? The rumor goes that in 2010 Nicki Minaj was replaced by a lookalike. As with Nikki Sixx the lookalike had to go to the tattoo parlor and the tattooist was none other than Kat Von D, then dating Nikki Sixx. Confused. Yes this one is a bit odd.
Minaj had been getting a bigger profile and was just about to breakthrough in 2010 when she was killed in, can you guess, yes a car crash. The record company got a replacement but she didn’t have the tattoos so Von D was paid to replicate then on the new girl.
An employee at a morgue in LA told TMZ that Kat was smuggled in to take photos and sketches of a corpse. At the time the employee thought this was for a portrait tattoo (von D’s speciality) but later worked out what was really going on. Others have pointed out that she did lose a lot of weight and her tattoos look better than they used to.
Even TMZ dismissed this one out of hand.
Peter Green. This one did happen and it was a fraud. In the late 60’s Peter Green left Fleetwood Mac and with a few exceptions left the music industry. He also decided to give away all his money and his possessions. By the 1980’s he had become a recluse and even a vagrant. Suffering from depression caused by a bad acid trip in Germany in the 60’s he cut himself off from the world.
By the 1990’s the early Fleetwood Mac back catalogue was re issued on CD and there were a lot of royalties accruing in a bank account. Then in 1994 Peter Green resurfaced and gave interviews including an in depth interview with ‘Guitarist’ magazine. However it wasn’t Peter Green.
The fraudster was after the money but there were so many people that knew where the real Peter was, and that he still didn’t want the money, that it soon fell apart. There was some speculation that the fake Peter was the same man who spent twenty years pretending to be Stanley Kubirk. Although it seems whoever he was he was able to cover his tracks and vanish.
Two years later the real Peter returned to the public eye. True to his beliefs he didn’t keep any of the money that the fraudster had been after, he instead founded a charity to help other people with depression.