I'll never forget a very special friend who gave me his copy of "Life's Rich Pageant" during our 7th grade trip to D.C. I listened to that tape (!) over and over again on my Sony Walkman. I loved it - still do. And somewhere during that trip, I decided that Michael Stipe is a genius.
I think this guy is a true artist and someone who, in addition, because of who he is - and being true to that - led me to think a lot about life, art, love even at a young age.
R.E.M. has gone through many trappings of pop culture from being the unknown sub-culture band to "selling out" to "breaking up" to now being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But, all I know is that they have written some of the all time greats on the soundtrack of my life. I know it was a group effort but its always the front man who get's the attention right? So, thanks Michael for some truly fantastic music. Go listen now to some oldies but goodies "Fall on Me", "You Are the Everything" "I Believe" "Half a World Away" and of course, as a shout out to my birthday friend, E, "Losing My Religion".
Besides - who can write a love song (that I love) that has the word eviscerate in it? ;)