Wednesday, February 4, 2009
This is a song of social and political importance and it was written especially for you…
Or something like that.
Today I'd like to say "Hi, hi," to Michael Stipe. I'm in that kind of mood. Karla and I happened to watch REM Tourfilm this morning (which I’d not seen since high school and enjoyed possibly more than I did back in the day), and it's held up very well I think. Also, my status message and pic on g-chat read “found it Myles Standish proud” with ol’ Michael looking over from a Murmur era snap shot.
I’ve had my ups and downs with Michael over the years and as my longtime readers know, pretty much disowned REM in my college “indie cool” days. I slowly began letting them back into my good graces about ten years ago and fully re-accepted them back into my life as a vital and important part of my musical identify during a car driving epiphany of sorts several months ago. Furthermore, I forgave M-Stipe for all past annoyances after he agreed to a week long online question-answer session about the meaning of REM’s lyrics, etc. It was a fun, candid and extremely enjoyable session that showed he was a very gracious and fan-appreciative guy, and probably not nearly as weird as we all think he is (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
As an enigmatic front man, you can't get much cooler, sleeker or diverse than our pal from Athens, who has always fronted his music with a sense of wit, grace and a smirking self-consciousness that makes him immediately everyman and his own man. Had I ever inclinations to be a lead singer (and who says I haven't), I'd have gladly used him as a blueprint.
Here are a couple of REM songs that Michael has claimed to be his “favorite” throughout the years…
Fall On Me
And one of my favorite M-Stipe vocals...
The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight
And a few quotes…
I really wanted to be on Six Feet Under as a corpse. That would be hysterical.
I think there were early critics who wanted us to change the world because the Sex Pistols failed.
I'm not homosexual, I'm not heterosexual, I'm just sexual.
If I'm tired of me, I'm sure the public is as well.
Never eat broccoli when there are cameras around.
There was never a golden era of American radio as far as I can tell.
When you meet a stranger, look at his shoes. Keep your money in your shoes. (from the song Good Advices)
Remember, this is the guy who at one time could have turned us inside out, but chose not too. Thanks, buddy!