"I was always irrationally jealous of REM,who's every fart seemed to be held up as holy writ. I just thought they were OKish. Of course they played the game a lot better than we did,but let's be honest folks….."
I just always connected with their music and their personalities. Probably not insignificant that my journey tracked along with Michael Stipe's in some ways: going from painfully shy to at least occasionally extroverted, or from closeted and conflicted to being out and proud. Yeah, and sometimes I'm too serious, too!
I like Buck/Berry/Mills a lot more than Stipe. He's got one of those voices that just bugs me. But he seems like a decent guy with his heart in the right place. And I like their first single "Radio Free Europe."
Liked them a lot up until Monster. Then I saw them on that tour, the one where Berry got ill, at Milton Keynes Bowl on a blisteringly hot July day with my heavily pregnant partner. They were, by their own admission, god awful, totally blown away by the support - Blur. They never made another good album after that and I got soooo tired of Stipe's voice. But I loved The Great Beyond which at least proved they could write decent songs from time to time..
An ex-colleague of mine worshipped REM until she went to work for Warners and met Stipe at an event. She said he was an utter prick and REM lost their appeal for her after that.
I used to love REM & then I didn't- not sure what happened... other bands/artists I got into around the same time continue to hit the spot but REM sort of fell by the wayside- I admire them from afar now but might dig out the old vinyl for some re-evaluation, some of it hasn't been played for over 20 years...
...oh dear Mrs Medlicott, I don't know what to do, I've only got three bullets, and there's four of Motley Crüe...
I met Mike Mills and Peter Buck just at the time that "Losing My Religion" was blowing up, in 1991. I was working part-time at a rock music trade industry magazine in a small town in New Jersey, and those guys made the trip out there.
Mike was very open and business-like and chatty. I believe I asked him about the rumor that they were going to record another new album right away, which he said was the case (ended up being "Automatic for the People"), but he was mostly involved with other people there.
I found Peter almost hiding in a corner, but he was polite, and I talked to him for a few minutes. I noted that Michael Stipe never seemed to do any press, and that it was always Peter and Mike. In answering me, Peter's eyebrows knitted a bit as he said, "Yeah, I don't know why it's always just the two of us."
I'm not surprised that Michael Stipe gave that impression, certainly in the early Warner years anyway. But if you look at him in the 1991 "Unplugged" and then the 2001 "Unplugged," the change in his personality is immense. I think he chilled out over time.