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R.E.M. FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about R.E.M.

This FAQ about R.E.M. was compiled and written by Ron Henry (rgh3@cornell.edu) with numerous contributions by others.

Acknowledgments

This file is currently maintained by, and new entries (since 1995) were written by, Ron Henry (rgh3@cornell.edu); many thanks to previous authors and maintainers whose efforts this version is based on. Thanks also to numerous Rec.music.rem newsgroup members past and present who have offered information, corrections and criticism to the contents of this FAQ (you may or may not know who you are!) Special thanks go to Kipp Teague, long-time wrangler of this document, and to Valerie Ohm, original list manager at M.I.T. and author of the original text of many of the FAQ questions.

Permission is given to quote and reproduce portions of this text provided that you credit the source ("Rec.music.rem FAQ" with date of the version being quoted) and provided that you *do not make any attempt to pass off the text as your own work.* It's always better WWW etiquette to link to existing resources, than copy the pages wholesale.

Further suggestions are always welcome (email to rgh3@cornell.edu). Keep those virtual cards and letters coming!

-01 About The Newsgroup, and How to Get its Documents (rec.music.rem)
An R.E.M. Internet e-mail list first began in Feb. 1990 as a part ...
-02 Some Very Basic Information About The Band R.E.M.
The actual band members are Bill Berry (percussion, backing vocals), ...
-03 "How do I join the fan club? Is it worth it?" (R.E.M.)
Write to: R.E.M., PO Box 8032, Athens, GA 30603. The yearly cost is US$10;...
-04 "What does the 'J' in J. M. Stipe stand for?" (R.E.M.)
John. Nobody knows why he dropped the name but still uses the initial. ...
-05 "Are there any R.E.M. fan newsletters I can subscribe to?"
Here is a quick list of a few recently-published R.E.M. fanzines, in ...
-06 "Doesn't R.E.M. stand for 'rapid eye movement'?"
In the scientific field of sleep research, the acronym r.e.m. indeed ...
-07 "I think that Fables of the Reconstruction sucks/rules!".. (R.E.M.)
...or I
-08 "Do R.E.M. members ever read the newsgroup, and do they have email addresses? I want to send them a message if they have an email address!"
During August 1994, Michael Stipe posted comments, and answered fans'...
-09 "Someone told me that R.E.M. is going to break up on New Year's Eve, 1999. Is that true?"
Peter Buck said this as an off-the-cuff joke during an interview (mainly ...
-10 "A friend told me that Michael Stipe is HIV positive! Is this true? Has anyone else heard this?" (R.E.M.)
Uh, yeah, we heard. In fact, every few months or so a new ...
-11 "Who are/were the Hindu Love Gods?" (R.E.M.)
R.E.M. (without Michael Stipe) collaborated on a side project with ...
-12 "Where does the title 'Automatic for the People' come from?" (R.E.M.)
The band borrowed this slogan from a sign in Weaver D's Delicious ...
-13 "So, what's the story with those funky suits Mike Mills wore during the Monster World Tour?" (R.E.M.)
Actually, the outfits Mike was wearing are known as Nudie suits, ...
-14 "There's this kind of wacky song whose lyrics talk about all the songs on Reckoning and about the guys in R.E.M. -- what is that?"
The band Pavement recorded a song for the compilation CD No ...
-15 "Is Peter Buck related to Rob Buck of the 10,000 Maniacs?" (R.E.M.)
No. There was, however, an amusing story in Musician magazine about ...
-16 "Who is that woman prominent in both the 'One I Love' and 'Pop Song 89' videos?" (R.E.M.)
An old friend of Stipe's named Caroline. According to Marcus Gray,...
-17 "What is the tattoo under Michael Stipe's right upper arm that was visible on the 1995 Letterman show appearance?" (R.E.M.)
It is a tattoo of Ignatz Mouse and Krazy Kat, who are the main ...
-18 "Did Michael Stipe work on a project with Kurt Cobain before Cobain's death?" (R.E.M.)
While many people would have looked forward to such a project and ...
-19 "I have seen Mike Mills' name recently as an artist and as member of other bands besides R.E.M."
The Mike Mills in Butter 08 is not Michael Edward Mills from R.E.M., but ...
-20 "Who is Patti Smith, who sings on 'E-bow' and is in the video for that song?" (R.E.M.)
The background singer on the song E-bow the Letter, Patti Smith, is ...
-21 "Why isn't long-time manager Jefferson Holt mentioned in the New Adventures in Hi-Fi credits?" (R.E.M.)
A recent press release from the band announced that Holt had left ...
-22 "Is the song 'The Wake Up Bomb' about the band Oasis?" (R.E.M.)
Not according to R.E.M. Peter Buck said in an interview in 1995 that ...
-23 "What are those phrases inside the liner notes for 'Monster'?" (R.E.M.)
Possible alternate names, and working titles, both for the album itself ...
-24 "What are the strange symbols on the cover of CD-single for 'What's the Frequency, Kenneth?'" (R.E.M.)
The packaging for the CD single for What's the Frequency, Kenneth? ...
-25 "Why is there a '4' superimposed over the 'R' on the Green cover?" (R.E.M.)
The story told in interviews is that someone (most likely Michael Stipe)...
-26 "There's a '5' on Document and a '4' on Green, and wait, there's a '10' on Chronic Town, and a '9' on Murmur and an '8' on Fables, and a '7' on Reckoning! Is this some kind of countdown?" (R.E.M.)
This is an urban legend which even the band are weary of denying. The ...
-27 "Who painted the cover art for Reckoning?" (R.E.M.)
The folk or naive artist (the term art critics use), Rev. Howard Finster,...
-28 "My copy of the Green LP has names for each side. Are the sides named on other albums?" (R.E.M.)
Almost every R.E.M. album bears creatively-named sides. Here's a list:...
-29 "Why is the actual song order on Lifes Rich Pageant different from that listed on the back cover? And do some copies actually list the song 'Superman' as 'Superwoman'?" (R.E.M.)
Reportedly, the song order on LRP was changed at the last minute, too ...
-30 "What is the name of that last song on Green?" (R.E.M.)
The instrumental version on the CD-single for Stand is called ...
-31 "What is that on the front cover of Chronic Town?" (R.E.M.)
The Spitting Gargoyle on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris....
-32 "Whose half-face is on Lifes Rich Pageant?" (R.E.M.)
Bill Berry's. Gruesome makeup and photography courtesy Stipe. ...
-33 "The spine title of my copy of Fables is Reconstruction of the Fables, not the other way around! Do I have a limited ed. or something? (R.E.M.)
Alas, no. It's neither a misprint, nor rare, and the two titles ...
-34 "Who is that on the cover of Document?" (R.E.M.)
Michael Stipe, hiding behind a camera. Note there are several ...
-35 "On the Reckoning liner, it says 'Help Carl Grasso.' Who was he?" (R.E.M.)
Carl Grasso was reportedly the art director (or product manager) for ...
-36 "Is the Chronic Town EP available separately?" (R.E.M.)
As a regular release, it is only available as part of the Dead ...
-37 "Why isn't the song 'Revolution' on New Adventures in Hi-Fi, like all the other new songs they were performing on the Monster World tour?" (R.E.M.)
The choice of whether to include a song on an album is one only the ...
-38 "I thought there was a R.E.M. song called 'Sponge' that was on the radio in 1995. I don't see it on New Adventures."
The song Sponge recorded by R.E.M. is actually a composition by ...
-39 "What are the words to the chorus of 'Sitting Still?'" (R.E.M.)
A few years ago, Michael Stipe claimed in a Rolling Stone interview ...
-40 "How exactly do you people think Michael Stipe could have written lyrics for some songs on Murmur, Reckoning, etc. without having specific words in mind? He is often quoted as saying 'the earlier songs don't have lyrics per se.' How does he do that? Seems ridiculous, but at the same time... witty." (R.E.M.)
Chris Piuma suggested, on r.m.r: Take a song that you like but ...
-41 "What the heck is the chorus of 'The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight'?" (R.E.M.)
Well, it's not Call me in Jamaica, or even Only in Chalawaika. ...
-42 "What is that weird sound/voice at the beginning of 'Superman'?" (R.E.M.)
It's reputed to be the sound that occurs when you pull the string on ...
-43 "What do the lyrics to 'What's the Frequency, Kenneth?' mean?" (R.E.M.)
Stipe was quoted in several interviews at the time of Monster's release ...
-44 "What is the connection between 'WTF,K?' and Dan Rather?" (R.E.M.)
The title of the song itself, it needs to be explained, refers ...
-45 "Who is Michael Stipe referring to in the song 'Can't Get There from Here,' in the lines, 'Brother Ray can sing my song,' and the last line, 'Thank you, Ray'?" (R.E.M.)
In It Crawled... Bill Berry and Peter Buck are quoted discussing this song,...
-46 "Where did Stipe get the words in 'Voice of Harold' (from Dead Letter Office)?" (R.E.M.)
Stipe used the liner notes to a gospel album in the studio during ...
-47 "Who is 'Monty' in 'Monty Got a Raw Deal' on AfTP?" (R.E.M.)
Montgomery Clift, actor. He was considered to be one of the most ...
-48 "Who speaks during the break in 'Exhuming McCarthy'?" (R.E.M.)
From Marcus Gray's It Crawled From The South:...
-49 "What does the title of 'Green Grow the Rushes' refer to?" (R.E.M.)
It may refer to the poem, Green Grow The Rashes, by the Scottish ...
-50 "What is the snippet of music heard on some versions of Reckoning, but which is not on current CD recordings of the album?" (R.E.M.)
People often ask about the fragment of song that appears after ...
-51 "What is that song 'Photograph' that Michael Stipe sings, and why wasn't it on an R.E.M. album?"
The compilation Born to Choose CD features, among other things, the ...
-52 "What is that song where Michael Stipe sings 'You were in my dream'?" (R.E.M.)
Stipe sang background vocals for the song Your Ghost which appears on ...
-53 "What is the R.E.M. song with the line 'First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin...'?"
This is a cover of the Leonard Cohen song First We Take Manhattan, ...
-54 "Has Michael Stipe done a duet with Tori Amos?" (R.E.M.)
Amos was quoted as saying that she and Stipe were talking about doing ...
-55 "In 'Country Feedback," what is 'Est' in the line, 'Self help, self pain, EST, psychics, fuck all'? Are they referring to electro-shock therapy?" (R.E.M.)
No. Electro-Shock Therapy, usually called Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT)...
-56 "Where is Rockville, in '(Don't Go Back to) Rockville'?" (R.E.M.)
From the book Remarks, The Story of R.E.M. by Tony Fletcher: Mike ...
-57 "What does the term 'Star 69' refer to, in the song of that name on Monster?" (R.E.M.)
For those who don't have the service in their area, many phone ...
-58 "Who was Andy Kaufman and why does Michael Stipe sing about him in 'Man on the Moon'?" (R.E.M.)
Andy Kaufman was a celebrated conceptual comedian from the 1970's who,...
-59 "What is an e-bow, from 'E-bow the Letter'?" (R.E.M.)
A hand-held electronic gadget that-when held over the strings of ...
-60 "What is that being said before 'Be Mine'?" (R.E.M.)
It sounds like someone saying, perhaps on a CB radio, ...Ah, speed zone ...
-61 "What is all this talk about Bingo Hand Job? Who are they?" (R.E.M.)
Bingo Hand Job was the name that R.E.M. went under when they played ...
-62 "Who is Peter Holsapple -- is/was he a member of R.E.M.?"
Peter Holsapple was the unofficial fifth member of the band during ...
-63 "What is the name of that song in Tourfilm that goes 'Hey man I'm making moves, and I am so much stronger than you...'?" (R.E.M.)
Michael is singing the first verse of Future 40's (String of Pearls). ...
-64 "What about the one that goes 'If we close the door, the night could last forever...'?" (R.E.M.)
The After Hours, by the Velvet Underground....
-65 "What about the other one that goes 'We live as we dream alone, To break the spell, we mix with the others...'" (R.E.M.)
Originally by the Gang of Four, We Live As We Dream, Alone....
-66 "And what about the acapella thing JMS sings that begins, 'Evenin' a-comin' soon....' done before 'I Believe' in some shows?" (R.E.M.)
That is the beginning of Harpers, cowritten by Stipe and Hugo Largo'...
-67 "I heard a version of U2's song 'One' with Michael Stipe singing. What was that?" (R.E.M.)
Michael Stipe and Mike Mills, along with U2's Adam Clayton and ...
-68 "And what about that song on 'MTV Unplugged' which Mike Mills sings, that goes, 'Love is all around us...'?" (R.E.M.)
It is a cover of the Troggs' song, Love Is All Around. (Note the ...
-69 "What is that thing in Michael Stipe's ear, a hearing aid -- is he going deaf or something?" (R.E.M.)
Stipe, like many other performers, wears an earpiece monitor when the ...
-70 "So what are all the songs by other artists which R.E.M. has recorded?"
On official releases, the following songs have been covered:...
-71 "What's everyone's favorite song/album?" (R.E.M.)
PLEASE be aware that asking everyone on the group to post what ...
-72 Where To Get More Information about R.E.M. (Books)
Several books have been published about R.E.M. The best of them are ...
-73 R.E.M. On Video
Nearly all videos created for R.E.M. songs are available on one of ...
-74 Resources Available On the Internet (R.E.M.)
-75 A Primer on R.E.M. Bootlegs/Live Tapes
Bootlegged recordings of R.E.M. concerts, and early demo versions of ...









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