In October 1998, as a member of their fan club and a New York resident, R.E.M. invited me to the taping of their Storytellers episode for VH-1. My friend Kathy, a fellow R.E.M. fan, was my +1.
We got on the line with the other invitees and their guests. People were shown to their seats by ushers in what appeared to be a first come first served basis, an organized general admission.
When Kathy and I got to the front of the line an employee at the studio asked us to step to the side. We watched as the ushers seated all the people who got on line after us. I was getting annoyed.
Then that employee asked us to follow him. He seated us in the front row. We must have looked extra cool that day.
While performing, the band’s lead singer, Michael Stipe, often looked at papers on a music stand to his right. He explained that he doesn’t remember the lyrics to all his songs, so he went on the Internet earlier and printed them out from random lyric sites, apologizing if he sang the wrong words. After each song he’d drop the lyric sheet to the floor. After the show I collected two of them – “Fall on Me” and “Daysleeper.”
Today Michael Stipe turns 54. Get to know his music a little more with today’s playlist.