Michael Stipe (vocals)
Peter Buck (guitar)
Mike Mills (bass)
Bill Berry (drums) 1980-1997
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Songwriting credits (and royalties) are shared equally regardless of who wrote the song. This is one reason they have been around so long, as many bands have broken up over who gets writing credits.
Stipe produced the 1999 movie Being John Malkovich. He is often mistaken for Malkovich.
R.E.M. did two MTV "Unplugged" specials. The first was in 1991, the second in 2001.
Stipe used to claim that he could predict earthquakes. He said he got a nasty headache a few days before they hit.
When the band was asked if REM stood for Rapid Eye Movement, they said, "REM stands for nothing, but will lie down for anything." (thanks, Kevin - Avon, OH)
Stipe had scarlet fever when he was 2.
Mills and Berry were in a lounge act with their high school music teacher. They would dress up and play at weddings and country clubs. But at least they could play. Stipe once explained: "When we started out, Buck couldn't really play the guitar and I couldn't sing. We were like a speed metal band when we started."
Stipe studied painting and photography at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, where the band formed. The band contributes a lot of money and time to keeping Athens beautiful. (thanks, Maria - Atlanta, GA)
They don't print lyrics with their albums. Stipe explained that fans often have better interpretations than the actual words.
Berry quit the band in 1997 after he suffered a near fatal brain aneurysm. He decided to take life at a slower pace and became a farmer. Every now and then he would play with R.E.M. at live shows. (thanks, scott - Bismarck, ND)
Stipe's sister, Linda, was in a band called Oh-OK with Matthew Sweet around the same time R.E.M. was forming. (thanks, Marvin - East Brady, PA)
Michael Stipe has discussed his sexuality from time to time, but prefers not to. In a 2001 Time magazine story, he said he had been in a relationship with a man for the last three years. Ten years later, he told The Observer, "I definitely prefer men to women."
Stipe and Natalie Merchant were a romantic couple in the late '80s when Natalie was lead singer of 10,000 Maniacs.
They originally called themselves the Twisted Kites before deciding on the name R.E.M. while flipping through a dictionary.
They were named "Best Band in America" by Rolling Stone magazine in 1987.
Disgusted with an early video, Stipe swore off lip-synching in videos for the duration of the 1980s. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 3)
Al Jourgensen of Ministry
In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.
Chris Squire of Yes
One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.
Petula talks about her hits "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep In The Subway," and explains her Michael Jackson connection.
Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread
, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.