REM FAQ (1/2)

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Ron Henry

May 10, 1994, 8:04:34 AM5/10/94
last revised April 1, 1994

SECTION 1: USENET newsgroup and the R.E.M. Mailing List

The R.E.M. mailing list began on February 2, 1990 as a part of Project
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In July of 1993, it moved to
Lynchburg College in Virginia. On March 28, 1994, USENET newsgroup was created after winning a landslide voter approval (789 to
The mailing list and newsgroup are linked via a one-directional gateway
in which all posts to the mailnig list are forwarded to the newsgroup.
The mailing list (which is in digest-form only) is intended only for those
who do not have access to USENET or to the newsgroup.

If you DO NOT have access to, to POST to the newsgroup and
mailing list, send E-mail to one of the addresses below (do NOT send
for subscriptions to these addresses - read below for further info).
If you DO have newsgroup access, you may also E-mail to one of these
to share your comments with the mailing list, but please do so ONLY if your
message contains new and pertinent information about R.E.M. worth sharing
with everyone. Please do NOT send trivial messages to the mailing list.


Anything you send to this address, in addition to being immediately
forwarded to the, is delivered to all mailing list members in
digest form. Digests are mailed at least once daily. Posts do not go
through a moderator before delivery.

To report a problem, send a message to

SECTION 2: Ways to Avoid Annoying Newsgroup Readers, Mailing List Members
and/or the List Manager

1. DO NOT send signoff (unsubscribe) requests to the list itself.
(Read section 1).
2. DO NOT Post questions that are already answered in the FAQ.
3. DO NOT Forward copies of bounced messages to the list manager.

SECTION 3: Some Basic Information About R.E.M.

The actual band members are Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and
Michael Stipe. Other folks of note are Jefferson Holt (manager), Bertis
Downs (the band's lawyer). Peter Holsapple was the "fifth member" of
the band during the Green tour and the promotional tour for Out Of Time
(at last report, Holsapple was with the "Continental Drifters").


Chronic Town (EP) - 1982
Murmur - 1983
Reckoning - 1984
Fables of the Reconstruction - 1985
Lifes Rich Pageant - 1986
Dead Letter Office (B-sides compilation) - 1987
Document - 1987
Eponymous (Greatest Hits package) - 1988
Green - 1988
Out Of Time - 1991
The Best Of R.E.M. - 1991 (European Greatest Hits package)
Automatic For The People - 1992

SECTION 4: Some Recent Things Of Interest

On February 28, 1994, a Rock the Vote party was thrown at The Supper
Club in New York City honoring R.E.M. as recipients of the first annual
Patrick Lippert Award. This award recognizes individuals who have
inspired young people to participate in the political process. Bill
Clinton payed tribute to the group in a video clip and demonstrated his
knowledge of R.E.M. song titles with the comment "R.E.M. has shown us all
that if you work long enough and hard enough, you CAN get there from here."

In early January of this year, R.E.M. was nominated for several Grammy
"Automatic For The People" was nominated for alternative album of the year
as well as for best album of the year. "Man on the Moon" was nominated
for best pop group performance. The limited edition pine box version
of AFTP was nominated for best packaging, and "Everybody Hurts" was
as the best short form video. Unfortunately, R.E.M. took no Grammys home
from the March 1 ceremony.

R.E.M. entered a New Orleans studio in October of 1993 and laid down
24 demos for a new album. Rehearsals were set to begin in January with
initial recording sessions planned for April through June in both Atlanta
Miami. After a month off in July, the band is expected to re-enter the
in August and finish recording and mixing by the end of September, then
the new album by November. Peter Buck has stated that the band will begin
worldwide tour following the album, an album which he has promised will be
"noisy" rock'n'roll record, possibly containing up to 18 or 20 songs.
have it that the band has actually recorded both a rock'n'roll set and a
laid-back set a la "Automatic For The People," and is currently trying to
decide how to merge the two into a single album. Other sources indicate
a tour will begin in January 1995 and continue through July of that year,
Australia, North America, and western Europe as the likely locales.

The recently released "Born to Choose" CD features the track "Photograph",
a new song co-written and performed by R.E.M. and Natalie Merchant.
Peter Buck was interviewed in early November on Seattle radio station KNDD
and had this to say about the track: "We were doing the last record,
Automatic For The People and we had about 10-15 or so extra tracks, and
(National Abortion Rights Action League) (asked for a song) and since
was having trouble finishing the lyrics, he asked Natalie to help him out..
it was a nice excuse to work together..."

Peter Buck headed up a lineup of more than a dozen musicians performing at
an anti-hate benefit 11/10/93 in Seattle at 8 at the Crocodile Cafe,
220 Second Ave. Peter also joined Kevn Kinney on stage 1/28/94 in Augusta

R.E.M. performed two songs, "Everybody Hurts" and an electric version of
"Drive", at the MTV Video Music Awards show on September 2, 1993.

On August 24, 1993, Michael Stipe and Mike Mills made separate appearances
at the 40 Watt club in Athens, GA, performing at "The Big Rock Show," a
benefit for a 40-Watt employee. Michael Stipe performed with Vic Chestnutt
and Mike Mills performed with 3/4 of Drivin' 'n' Cryin' (Kevn Kinney,
Buren Fowler and Jeff Sullivan). Other acts were the Vigilantes of Love
and 5-8. Stipe initially took the stage alone (in a cowboy hat and
a goatee) and delivered an Andy Kaufman impression to Glen Campbell's
"Rhinestone Cowboy". As a cassette player played the tune, Stipe stood
through the verse (smiling and waving at the crowd) and then mimed the
- a la Kaufman's Mighty Mouse ("Here I come to save the day") routine.
then was joined by Vic Chestnutt and covered "Galveston" (Glen Campbell),
"Solitary Man" (Neil Diamond), "Every Breath You Take" (Police), "By the
I Get to Phoenix" (Glen Campbell) and, with David Barbe of Sugar joining
"To Sir With Love" (Lulu). Mike Mills accompanied Kevn Kinney and company
several DNC tunes, then sang lead vocal on "Driver 8" as an encore. Stipe
then joined Mills, Kevn and the group for another encore, handling the lead
vocal on "The One I Love."

A compilation of videos for Automatic For the People is tentatively
for the Fall of 1994.

Last year, a planned R.E.M./Neil Young collaboration for the Victoria
Williams benefit album ("Sweet Relief") fell through.

A mixture of REM and U2 members appeared at the Inaugural Festivities in
January, 1993 under the name Automatic Baby performing U2's "One". Michael
Stipe also performed with the 10,000 Maniacs on the numbers "Candy
Wants" and "To Sir With Love." Stipe also appeared in July of 1993
in Atlanta with the Maniacs, performing on "Suspicious Minds" and "Because
the Night" (two cover songs).

On November 19, 1992, R.E.M. gave an invitation-only, solar-powered
at Athens' 40 Watt Club to record a song for an upcoming Greenpeace album
will promote solar energy. Along with two takes of "Drive" (electric
one of which will appear on the album), the band performed "Monty Got a Raw
Deal", "Everybody Hurts", and "Man on the Moon", followed by classics
"Losing My Religion", "Begin the Begin", and a "cattle-call" version of
"Radio Free Europe". Accompanying R.E.M. was John Keane, who provided
assistance on bass, pedal-steel guitar and acoustic guitar. In response to
questions about a tour, Peter Buck said: "This is it. This is the tour.
after this we are going to take a long rest." This show has been
on CD under several titles, the best sounding and most complete version
"We Support Greenpeace." A well-shot video of this performance was also
available at one time in the underground market.

I.R.S. Records has reissued all R.E.M. albums previous to Green in Europe
with "remastered bonus tracks". The complete track listings are listed
in the discography (see section 12 for more info on the discography),
the bonus tracks are:

Murmur There She Goes Again (from Dead Letter Office)
9-9 (live - 7/13/83 Boston)
Gardening At Night (live - 7/13/83 Boston)
Catapult (live - 6/27/84 Seattle)

Reckoning Windout (J. Holt on vocals)
Pretty Persuasion (version)
White Tornado (version)
Tighten Up (previously released on flexidisc)
Moon River (previously unreleased)

Fables of the Crazy (from Dead Letter Office)
Reconstruction Burning Hell (from Dead Letter Office)
Bandwagon (from Dead Letter Office)
Driver 8 (live - previously released)
Maps And Legends (live - previously released)

Lifes Rich Pageant Rotary Ten (from Dead Letter Office)
Toys In The Attic (from Dead Letter Office)
(All I Have To Do Is) Dream (previously released)
Swan Swan H (version - previously released)
Just A Touch (version - previously unreleased)
Tired Of Singing Trouble (previously unreleased)

Dead Letter Office Gardening At Night (acoustic version- previously
All The Right Friends (previously unreleased)

Document Finest Worksong (2 versions, prev released)
Last Date (previously released)
The One I Love (version - previously released)
Disturbance at the Heron House (version -
previously released)
Time After Time, Etc (previously released)

SECTION 5: Where To Get Other Information

Several books have been published about R.E.M. of late. Among them are:

REMNANTS - The R.E.M. Collector's Handbook and Price Guide, by Gary Nabors.
A list of over 1200 collectible R.E.M. items fully described and valued,
plus a 29 page interview with Peter. 261 pages. Great book for the die-hard

REMarks: The Story of R.E.M., by Tony Fletcher - The first bio to
appear. A pretty complete compilation of all the well-known info about
the band, with lots of pretty pictures. Probably the best bio for the
casual fan.

It Crawled From The South: An R.E.M. Companion, by Marcus Gray - This is
*the* book for the hardcore fan. Considerably more in-depth than
REMarks, as well as much longer.

R.E.M. Behind The Mask by Jim Greer - A pretty hardcover coffee table
book written by a writer from SPIN. The author pretty much re-wrote
REMarks, replacing fact with his own opinions.

Party Out Of Bounds by Rodger Lyle Brown - A book about the early (read,
mostly pre-REM) Athens music scene. Marcus Gray (author of It Crawled
>From the South, called it "entertaining", though the few who have taken
time to read it don't speak so highly of it.

R.E.M. File Under Water by John Story - update of "A Few Chords and A
Cloud of Dust", a complete discography, bootleg list, etc published a
while back by Total Recall Productions. (Imaginary Books, ISBN

SECTION 6: R.E.M. On Video

All but three of the (pre-A4TP) videos are available on three
compilations. They are: _R.E.M. Succumbs_ (_Murmur_ through _Life's Rich
Pageant_), and _Pop Screen_ (_Document_ and _Green_) and _This Film is
On_ (_Out Of Time_). All three videocassetes/videodiscs are still in print
and probably lurking in your local hip music video emporium.

The three videos not on these comps are "Wolves, Lower" (rarely seen,
though MTV has a copy of it), "(All I've Got To Do Is) Dream" from the
Athens, Ga - Inside/Out soundtrack (all scenes from the film, which is
available on video) and the MTV version of "Radio Free Europe"
(music is the same, the clip contains snippets of live footage
interspersed with the regular video.) The A4TP videos will probably
eventually be released on a compilation video like the rest.

Other R.E.M. related videotapes are _Athens, GA - Inside/Out_, a
documentary from 1986 (?) on the Athens, GA music scene. R.E.M. have
two live songs in the film (and on the corresponding sountrack, on
I.R.S. Records). _Arena Brains_, a short film by Robert Longo featuring
Michael Stipe's acting debut, and _Tourfilm_, a full-length concert

Clips of R.E.M. performing on MTV's "Cutting Edge" (from approx. 1986)
are included on the videocassette "The Best of the Cutting Edge - Vol. 1".

SECTION 7: Questions That You Shouldn't Be Asking (And Their Answers)

Read and memorize these questions. Do not ask one of the following
on the net. (Unless you have a *really* good reason. "I lost my copy of
FAQ" is not a good reason).

o "How do I join the fan club? Is it worth it?"

Send $10 if you're in North America ($12 elsewhere) to: R.E.M. Fan
Club, PO Box 8032, Athens, GA 30603. You will have to renew every

For the $10, you get a few postcards/newsletters, some random promo
stuff when a new record comes out (usually a poster, some buttons,
photos, things of that nature) and a holiday package containing the
ever-famous Christmas fan club single, and other random goodies.

o "Why is there a '4' superimposed over the 'R' on the _Green_ album?"

The story we hear is that *someone* (most likely Michael Stipe) was
typing the name of the album and hit the '4' key one time instead of
the 'R' (note their proximity on the qwerty keyboard). Somebody
thought it was a neat idea and carried it on to the pacakaging.

o "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_, etc. Is this some kind of countdown?"

This is an urban legend that even the band denies. They claim it's a
coincidence, and people on the newsgroup/list don't want to hear any more
about it. It has been the topic of many a flame war. Besides, the
are out of order.

o "My copy of the "Green" LP has names for each side. Are the sides named
on other albums?"

Many R.E.M. albums have creatively-named sides. Here's a list:

Chronic Town Chronic Town / Poster Torn
Murmur (side 1 / side 2)
Reckoning L / R
Fables A Side / Another Side
Lifes Rich Pageant Dinner / Supper
Document Page / Leaf
Dead Letter Office Post Side / Script Side
Eponymous Early / Late
Green Air / Metal
Out Of Time Time Side / Memory Side
The Best of R.E.M. (UK) Us / Them
Automatic For The People Drive Side / Ride Side

o "How do I get on the mailing list?"

If you are reading this file on, you don't need to join
the mailing list because you will see all mailing list messages in
the newsgroup. The mailing list is intended ONLY for those individuals
who do not have USENET or access.

o "Please remove me from this mailing list. Thank you."
(applicable only to mailing list members)

Please read the blurb at the top of each digest mailing which informs
you how to properly unsubscribe. Questions may be directed to

o "Does R.E.M. stand for Rapid Eye Movement?"

In the real world of sleep research, R.E.M. indeed stands for Rapid
Eye Movement. In the case of the band, no. The story goes that they
picked it out of the dictionary (not all dictionaries list it, so
don't be disappointed if you don't find it) and liked it because it
was so ambiguous. Either way, the band continually insists that it
stands for nothing. Some bootelgs, however, have the band listed as
Rapid Eye Movement, but then, what do bootleggers know?

o "_Fables of the Reconstruction_ sucks."

An old flame war. Some people hate it, some people love it, some
people are indifferent. But the flame war is even more annoying.
We've heard it at LEAST three times in the past two years. Some people
sign their posts "Fables rules!" as an homage to said flame war.

o "When is the new album coming out?"

Tentative plans are for a new R.E.M. album in the fall of '94. See the
update under "Some Recent Things of Interest" earlier in the FAQ.

(Continued in part 2/2)

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