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Reminiscing on three decades of R.E.M.

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R.E.M. broke up three years ago, after 31 years as one of the most popular bands in history. A new retrospective and boxed set looks at the band's rise to fame. Anthony Mason sat down with singer Michael Stipe to discuss the group.
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Text Comments (402)
Tom LaVenture (6 days ago)
Wonderful interviewer. He really connected with Michael Stipe.
D.B. Baker (9 days ago)
I'm on my third birth of love for the group R.E.M. All of them, love dearly! Every song, every lyric.. Love!
DrHogfan (16 days ago)
Damn. 31 yrs. I can still remember in 1983 telling guys at work to listen to Murmur(?) and saying these guys are gonna be big. I'd heard them on Hendrix College's Radio station.
Uther Pendragon (21 days ago)
Michael, you are a monument!!! I like your distribution to music. Would like to join a concert of R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Simple Minds, U2, Loreena McKennit. Ok, Simple Minds, Loreena ... I made it. But .... R.E.M. was an absolute great band.....
northofyou33 (1 month ago)
I would give almost anything to hear REM. Or to just see Stipe sing with another band.,
Speed Racer (1 month ago)
Heard Radio Free Europe and knew Athens was close. Visited once. Went there 4 a year. Pure pleasure. And these guys had just begun.
Joy Porcella (2 months ago)
I met him in 84 back stage and stipe was super shy anyway i tolld them about barton springs and how holy it was to Austin so they visited it before they left austin. All the guards loved it. They were awesom and very smart musicians.to visit it. So should everyone. Barton springs....go topless legally💜💙💛❤💚
starlodear (2 months ago)
And he's singing again, with Rain Phoenix: Time is the killer.
D-Nugget (2 months ago)
True Musician
roger peet (2 months ago)
REM is out of this world good.
Grover Bennington (2 months ago)
His music ..REM's music..is still some of the best ever but Michael ...stop being preachy and self righteous. Like Bono..you become a bore.
finnmacool (2 months ago)
The greatest ever live music i ever saw was REM for a few hours on a warm summer night at Glastonbury Festival England in 1999.. REM were so good and just blew every other band away.. Michael Stipe ..man you are just amazing.. what a showman
jackson pine (3 months ago)
I tried to like them, but just too f***ing boring. They may have been losing their religion, but they were losing my attention almost immediately.zzzzzzzz
Naroa Merinez (3 months ago)
Michael Stipe un genio más q Einstein más que nadie
Naroa Merinez (3 months ago)
Me da mucha pena verles así un poco más mayores y más que se retiraron
Naroa Merinez (3 months ago)
The best los mejores nunca oídos jamás jamás alguien como ellos mi REM
IlliniJake (3 months ago)
Their stuff from the '80s was revolutionary.  Then they sold out.  What a shame.
jari56ify (3 months ago)
I hope everyone in the band is happy. They gave me some great memories amd music.
Dan S. (4 months ago)
Was this recorded in 2014?
Green Sombrero (4 months ago)
REM. Incredible. What a time to be alive along with this band. What are the chances!
John Erkman (4 months ago)
Stipe STILL flaky
Tommy D (4 months ago)
The boys got me thru a rough patch from 87 to 91 in my life. Thank you!!!!
Steve Gad (5 months ago)
Michael.....the nose ring? Michael?........Michael......NO!!!!
Matt·Dylan (5 months ago)
they should have broke up in 1986 and saved their dignity...crappy shiny train wreck after Lifes Rich Pageant
paramorefan39 (5 months ago)
I wish they would reform just so I can see them live...that would mean so much to me just for that
CMG (5 months ago)
The interviewer sucks.
Mort Schubert (6 months ago)
What's in his nose?
bpmrox (6 months ago)
the 401-K Tour would be worth millions ... Call it Greenbacks
Rand U (6 months ago)
I'm happy for him and you just gatta respect a guy who's survived for 30 years in a cut throat industry with his life and sanity! Thanks for the memories.
Aneil Maharaj (6 months ago)
So sad, seeing REM live was on my "to do" list. Thanks Again for the music. Fan from Trinidad
Bella Bella (6 months ago)
Love REM😍
MrDLOC11 (6 months ago)
R.E.M. used to have mystique and were the kings of the alternative rock scene in America.
Daniel Kayser (7 months ago)
Gandalf, what happened? You look old and very tired. Maybe Frodo should be the ring bearer.
Atilla Sak (7 months ago)
2018 legend
vista7 (7 months ago)
This a great interview. Stipe was always very interesting. While their last few albums were lackluster their last tour in 2008 smoked. They sounded better than ever. There is not much chance they will get back together but the rock world is not as bright without them. He made a good point - they were really off-balance as a 3 piece. If Berry were to come back I think there's a chance. Just not sure his health would be good enough for a tour.
Paul Lagasse (7 months ago)
With michael stipe you never know what your gonna get says the guy at the desk at the very end ...so is Mr stipe like a box of chocolate
Nixter1974007 (7 months ago)
Fabulous band, sadly missed.
Nikola Majerle (8 months ago)
What song is playing at 0:41? Really loved the song
saturn return (8 months ago)
Para mi michael stipe es una de las mejores voces de la historia del rock , me moviliza a lugares maravillosos , muchos otros diran que fue freddie mercury , pero para mi la voz de R.E.M es y sera uno de los mejores , puede cantar encima del zumbido de una mosca e igual seria maravilloso .
Alexander Whitton (8 months ago)
What a great fella and one in a billion voice too I'm sure he's proud of his career, for me rem have 4 of my fave songs ever
Peggy Anahole (8 months ago)
Hombre. Maravilloso.
Oliviux78 (9 months ago)
He's such a beautiful person
Eric J. Ellis (9 months ago)
It's not often that a person redefines what it is to be a pop star (think Bowie, Michael Jackson, or Prince.) Michael did that but he redefined the idea of what pop lyrics are as well. By steadfastly refusing to sing decipherable lyrics for 5 albums, Michael endured the critics and spoke directly to listeners through a language only the heart can translate. His style left a spaces for his listener to fill in to "complete the song" and make it their own, to make it personal. The band has tirelessly works for social justice causes and the historic preservation of their Hometown Athens GA. as well as promoted smaller bands along the way. I'm so proud of our boys from Chronictown, nobody does it better. Take a bow gentleman, well done.
Ian Grubb (9 months ago)
They quit while they were ahead. Rather than fade into the distance. I grew up listening to them and their early albums were the ones I loved most. Automatic For The People is number one on on my list of albums to have. It ends with my favourite song of all time. Find The River is true poetry set to music. And Country Feedback is one of best songs that you'll ever hear live. They made you feel something different. I listen to a wide variety of music and they are up there with the likes of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Ludovico Einaudi in my playlists. And Michael Stipe is probably the best vocalist of all time. His development from Murmer to Everybody Hurts is amazing. He wasn't afraid to show frailties in his voice.
Stewart Wilbanks (9 months ago)
Saw them in Auburn, AL in 87 and Birmingham in 89, was a teenager then. Great memories, great shows. Got to see Peter Buck onstage with Col. Bruce Hampton the night Bruce passed away.
nosliw wilson (9 months ago)
i love this band, they're the best!
Blue Orbiter Corporation (9 months ago)
All this people who are putting rings on their noses, etc, etc, etc, it's all so eky.
Chris Snyder (9 months ago)
I teared up a bit when he said they'd never get back together at all, no chance.
Jeff Svirtunas (9 months ago)
Some bands should never. The Smiths and R.E.M. are two of them. Matter of opinion, they lost something when they left IRS and jumped into the big bed. OG fans know what I'm talking about.
SIMDICK (10 months ago)
Will always hold a place amongst the greatest bands, they were just that good.
VegasWonderland (10 months ago)
wish I could have seen them once
Paul Hymans (10 months ago)
Michael Stipe and R.E.M. Absolute legends. Hugely missed.
d3blh01 (10 months ago)
love his voice
J Bull (10 months ago)
I loved REM from day 1. First time I saw them was 1984 at the University of Bridgeport. Then at the Agora in West Hartford in 85. I was one of “those people “who didn’t want them to get big. I never stopped going to see them though. Still my favorite band.
lisa myhre (11 months ago)
So good
Linda Koenders Flynn (11 months ago)
Miss hearing his voice live, it's so unique. Love REM all their songs are stories and you can feel their music! A very powerful interview! (good journalist) Lots of good information in just over 5 minutes. Love Michael Stipe such an open and honest genuine guy!
SoCali (11 months ago)
Such an incredibly good band. It's sad to see this considering the state of mainstream American music today.
Richie B (1 year ago)
One of the great voices in rock. But something very sad in his eyes.
Derek Ryter (1 year ago)
I didn't really listen to them after Document--they went a direction I wasn't into at all--but they kept doing their thing and it's always good to hear what Mike Stipe has to say.
James Bayly (1 year ago)
Michael has a beautiful soul. And the exit of Bill Berry cannot be understated, they would be the first to mention that they were a completely different band with Bill and without him.
Lucio Archangelo (1 year ago)
Just a word about REM: Honest.
RealityCheck (1 year ago)
So at what point did Michael Stipe replace Rocky Dennis as the lead singer for REM?
BonoLightier (1 year ago)
One of my favorite idols since I was a teenager
daslibellchen (1 year ago)
Ich liebe Michael Stipe, ein fantastischer Mann/ Musiker
Lyn Sandgren (1 year ago)
I love REM and Michael was the best!. I have everything you guys have ever done. Miss you so much.
Themanwhocameback2 (1 year ago)
Michael is an almost pathologically shy gay man in an industry where it's very hard being that. He is also an artist. One of the very few in Rock and Roll.
Bollocks (1 year ago)
19 year old Michael Stipe looks like Rocky Dennis.
Gerard Mc Loughlin (1 year ago)
His voice and the band are the best in the scene ever, everything comes to an end but i'm glad i was a part of R.E.M era as it was the best ever :)
Gary Big (1 year ago)
Whats that stuff on Mike's nose?
LIA NOGUEIRA (1 year ago)
Amo muito
Mark Hadley (1 year ago)
Michael has been at it since he was 18, now the guy wants to chill out and do something else. Respect, you have made songs that will resonant in my consciousness for ever more : )
the phoenix 315 (1 year ago)
He looks like Kelsey Grammer
DrKate L. (1 year ago)
Quite simply, the best. I'm grateful REM and I shared the same generation & lifetime. I was so lucky to have their music for my life's soundtrack. Sure, I miss them, but I expected Michael to pull the curtain on REM long before they became stale and irrelevant. I respect his opinion that it was time.
Fleck Smugbrother (1 year ago)
Much respect and admiration to REM......
Holly Hoagland (1 year ago)
So much great fun! Love you! UKULELE ATLANTA HOLLY
gtafe (1 year ago)
Stipe Reminded me a bit Mel Gibson here , maybe the blue eyes..
Reid Smith (1 year ago)
As whisper quiet and poker faced as Michael Stipe typically is, he sure has a great smile. This is a rare glimpse.
CW W (1 year ago)
And the beard begins it's march on Washington! GO JMS!
Thank you REM, for helping me hate capitalism, the evil enemy that we should destroy with the motivation and stimulation of art. It is impossible to see a communist revolution without art
gasaholic47 (1 year ago)
Saw the min 1983 at the University at Buffalo, when they were just starting to really get noticed. They were THE college band. Great show, as I recall.
PlanetRockJesus (1 year ago)
Sad that Michael Stipe doesn't realize that snot is hanging out of his nose.
Ch3 5t3r D (1 year ago)
R:E:M - Remember Every Moment
FreemonSandlewould (1 year ago)
Hey Mike. You got a boog hanging out your nose.
Marty McSuperFly! (1 year ago)
An original never repeats.
SONIC FOXX MUSIC (1 year ago)
Wonder if Michael Stipe actually enjoyed singing R.E.M.'s songs as much as i have done over the years?? ...in my living room.
Hep Cat (1 year ago)
Gelsyviolet (1 year ago)
Without premolar? Incredibile!
malbuff (1 year ago)
Artie Shaw walked away from the limelight at the height of his popularity-- been there, done that. Few others have had the courage to do the same. Stipe is one-- well, really, they all are, starting with Bill, I suppose.
Timothy Lines (1 year ago)
during the same time another great band green day,top of the heap my friends.
Fabiano (1 year ago)
Patty Holtke (2 years ago)
Can't believe I used to adore these liberal pukes.
Ramon Arellano (2 years ago)
Easyily one of the greatest American Rock bands ever. Stipe was a fantastic front man with jagger like energy and lyrics to boot.
I've always loved R.E.M. but I guess I'm not as "big" of a fan as I thought I was because I never knew they had broken up for 5 or 6 years now :'D...my bad.
Big pimpin (2 years ago)
Michael Stipe's AIDS is in remission. He looks great.
Glen Haig (2 years ago)
The young Michael Stipe looked a bit like Warren Zevon.
Jeffrey Dinocento (2 years ago)
They need to perform at the superbowl. I hate the ones who have done it lately.
Cool Cool (2 years ago)
Good interviewer
BRAD IsHear (2 years ago)
Nose ring or post nasal drip?
John Keys (2 years ago)
We All Have Cell Phones, So C'Mon Let's Get Real

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