I’m looking rather desperately for a live stream of the Phil Spector movie. Anyone??
Post with 1 note
I actually did not move from Boston to Athens, GA because of R.E.M. It had more to do with Love Tractor, to be honest - along with what were then really cheap horsekeeping options just a few minutes outside town. Nevertheless, it feels REALLY weird to know there’s no longer an R.E.M. I wish them the best, and thought I would share my personal Top 10 R.E.M. Moments - in chronological order.
1. 1982: If all R.E.M. had ever done was rescue college radio in Boston from the stranglehold of airplay for NOTHING but SST Records bands, I would still feel I owe them one. I remember literally jumping out of my chair the first time I heard “Chronic Town” on WMBR (Tony V, was that you?), and doing the “OMG who the FUCK are these guys?” thing. Then you started to find out that there was an actual music scene down there, with great great bands that had nothing to do w/ the whole SST ethos.
2. 1983, approx (memory fail): R.E.M. stopped by the Rat in Boston after what I think was an Orpheum show. The entertainment that night was one of Greg Kendall’s “Cabaret Nights”, which involved local bands getting up and doing covers, or improvs of one sort or another, to particular themes. It could be a little arcane and in-jokey and I remember wondering whether, being out of towners, they would Get The Joke. They did, and I have a fond memory of Peter and Mike *killing* themselves laughing over Dave Herlihy of O Positive’s intentionally tuneless slaughtering of “(She’ll be Riding) Wildfire”.
3. 1987: “Voice of Harold”. Still hilarious after all these years. Even funnier if you live in the South and actually *know* those types of people, which I’m sad to confess I do.
4. Also 1987 or thereabouts: I’m now living in Athens; R.E.M. are still weighing up whether to leave IRS for WB or not. One label or the other (I’ve never been sure which) has sent them all motorized stand-up scooters as a signing inducement. Mike and Bill proceed to rev ‘em up and buzz the ENTIRETY of downtown Athens - up and down sidewalks, running traffic lights, etc. - at high noon, when all the bankers and lawyers are outdoors eating lunch. The looks of fiendish glee on their faces are a memory I’ll always treasure.
5. 1989: A drunken practical joke played on Mike Mills by his then-roommate, in which I was kind of the patsy, which was very very funny but also kinda mean, and he’d kill me if I related it, so I won’t.
6: Spring 1989: Sitting at an outdoor cafe in downtown Athens w/ a group of people including a couple of B-52s, a couple of R.E.M.s, and a couple other friends. The B-52s’ Cosmic Thing has just been released. Someone walking by tells Keith Strickland (B-52s) he needs to call the R.E.M. office RIGHT NOW. (This was how business was done in Athens in those days.) He goes, calls, and comes back literally green-faced, shaking, and hyperventilating, with his jaw on the floor and his eyes bugging out of his head. We’re all like “OMG, what’s wrong?” and he can’t even speak. Eventually he gets the words out: the record company says Cosmic Thing is shipping one million units a minute. Now we ALL have our jaws on the floor; we’re all trying to get our heads around numbers like that, and it’s just impossible, even for R.E.M. One of whom finally says: “Sooooooo… if you took all those albums…. and you laid them out end to end….” And we all crack up because nobody can do enough math to figure out how many times that would go around the world.
7. 1991: Yes, it’s true, Mike Mills really DID buy me my first copy of Generation Terrorists by Manic Street Preachers. (Which is hilarious in view of subsequent events.) He doesn’t remember buying the record, but he does remember the incident, which I shall now describe. Back in those pre-internet, pre-Amazon days, if you wanted a record, you had to actually go to a record store. Wuxtry in Athens was… ok… on imports but not great; if you REALLY wanted imports you had to go to Wax’n’Facts in Atlanta. So it was kind of an Athens tradition that anyone going to Atlanta would ask their friends if they wanted anything at Wax’n’Facts. Poor Mike, who was going to ATL for a Braves game, made the mistake of asking a group of about 20 acquaintances hanging around the door of the 40 Watt that night if they wanted any records. Of course we all went “Oh, me, ME”. He was slightly annoyed and said “Oh come on, I’ll never remember all this”, and went into Jared/Barrie’s office for a paper and pen. We all wrote down our selections and off he went to the Braves game (which I assume they lost). Couple days later, Generation Terrorists appeared in my cubbyhole at the Athens Observer with a yellow sticky naming the price. I put the money in an envelope with a yellow sticky saying “Hey thanks” and dropped it by the R.E.M. office. Seasons of good will indeed…
8. Mid-1990s (drunken memory fail): A drunken practical joke played **by** Mike Mills at *my* behest, in which a third party was kind of the patsy, which was very very funny in the context of being drunk at the 40 Watt at 2:00 a.m., but also kinda mean, and he’d kill me if I related it, so I won’t.
9. 1995 (approx): 5:00 a.m. I have to drive to the barn to ride 2 horses before I go to work, and I’m in a really really REALLY bad mood (one horse was a catch-ride that I hated). I’m in my car at a red light in a completely vacant downtown Athens, half-awake and grouchy. Some idiot hoofer stops in the MIDDLE of the goddamn crosswalk and starts doing Michael Stipe’s “This Is How Popeye Exercises” dance. I blearily think, “Oh Christ, who’s THAT fucking moron?” I look again. It’s Michael Stipe. :-)
10. 2004: The Around The Sun tour is the first time I’ve seen R.E.M. live since Green. I devise myself a little mini-tour which involves R.E.M. dates in Indianapolis and Nashville with a horse show and a race horse paddock sale in between. The Indianapolis show really stuns me - R.E.M. have collectively turned into showmen since I’ve been off the train. It’s great. The Ryman show, not so much - they all had colds and the sound kinda stunk. But it did lead to one of life’s all-time great rock’n’roll moments. I’m seated next to a Much Younger Woman with whom I’ve exchanged pleasantries. R.E.M. play “Aftermath” and suddenly, we glance at each other, exchange rueful grins, nodding in recognition, and sing together “He’s not coming back/so you work it out/overfeed the cat”. This young lady and I probably don’t have one single fucking thing in common (she looks like a Young Republican for Chrissake), except “He’s not coming back/so you work it out/overfeed the cat”. We’re laughing because it’s So.True. That’s what you do: Stipe knows it, I know it, she knows it. THIS is why music is so universal, and why R.E.M. were so magical.
Thanks for the memories, guys. See you on the flip.
Congrats to the fabulousness that is Le Sexoflex!!
Yay!!!!! Thanks to @thegavoice and all you Flexxxholes out there! You’ve truly touched our hearts and naughty parts. *obvious wink*
A Message of Hope from the United States Senate (by senatorchriscoons)
Suddenly I feel VERY proud to be an American. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen of the US Senate. Thank you.
Page 1 of 6