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serviceman so the family travels about a fair bit in accordance with his postings. What was once the freaky lunatic fringe of the music scene becomes the centre.
and similar alt rock acts grow up and become adults, radio programmers, record company executives and cashed-up consumers.
“[I didn’t talk about it] with the press, because I thought it was a privacy issue…” As a teenager, Michael Stipe took an interest in punk rock acts like Patti Smith, Television, and Wire. The two boys begin playing music together as teenagers. Michael Stipe and Peter Buck shared a common interest in punk rock. Pale and serious young men deploying portable synthesiser keyboards are the vogue of the day. Alternative rock is sometimes called college rock because its largest audience is amongst U. They have little interest in courting mass appeal, seeking only to earn sufficient funds to allow them to continue.
(the band) begins with John Michael Stipe, born 4 January 1960 in Decatur, Georgia, U. Michael Stipe attends Collinsville High School in Illinois from which he graduates in 1978. Michael attends the University of Georgia, studying painting and photography. “[My sexuality] was locked in early on,” he asserts. At the Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, Berry meets Mike Mills. The single is issued on the independent Hib-Tone label. Punk is superseded by new wave, the style identified with fellow Athens, Georgia, act, The B-52s. Some describe the subsequent music emerging as ‘post punk.’ However, in the early 1980s what seems to be the dominant genre is synth-pop. is most commonly described as an alternative rock (or alt rock) act. The alt rockers are happy amateurs doing it for love instead of money. does become very famous and very commercially successful – but very few accuse them of ‘selling out.’ R.
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“Hello, I saw you / I know you, I knew you / I think I can remember your name” – ‘Pop Song ‘89’ (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe) During sleep, the stage in which dreams take place is characterised by rapid eye movement – or R.
is one of the biggest beneficiaries of this generational progression. I can’t even remember them.” Over their lengthy career, the sound of R. Musically, Peter Buck most often writes the melodies, but, increasingly as time passes, that role is divided more equally between Buck and Mike Mills. At least initially, they are purposefully vague and out of focus. It is there, in January 1980, that he meets Peter Buck. However, like Michael Stipe, Buck winds up in Georgia. When he meets Michael Stipe, Peter Buck is working as a sales assistant in Wuxtry Records. The line-up is fixed as: Michael Stipe (vocals), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass, piano, backing vocals) and Bill Berry (drums). begins playing gigs through the southern States of the U. Their first show outside of Georgia is in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Their relative obscurity protects the artistic freedom of these acts. As a university student, Stipe hangs about in Wuxtry Records in Athens, Georgia. William Thomas Berry is born 31 July 1958 in Duluth, Minnesota, U. They cruise around the city practicing singing along with the multi-part harmonies of The Beach Boys playing on the car sound system. However, despite continuing pockets of popularity, punk is largely a thing of the past by the time R. “We were the most visible sign that something else was going on,” points out Mike Mills. Alternative rock is aimed at a devoted cult following of young, educated, fans. is one of the best known alternative rock acts, they also have a large role in killing off the genre. Dreams are a necessary outlet for the human mind and, for their many fans, the music of R. Michael Edward Mills is born 17 December 1958 in Orange County, California, U. The quartet goes through a few names: Cans Of P***, Negro Wives, and – most commonly – Twisted Kites. The boys drop out of school to focus on their band. He is so impressed, he leaves his hometown of Chapel Hill to move to Athens, Georgia, and become R. Athens, Georgia, as the location of the University of Georgia, ‘is primarily a college town.’ One of the most successful American new wave bands was The B-52’s. Their narratives are those of dream logic; they only make sense during the experience. Michael says of Buck, “He was three years older than me; he knew about music; He knew how to take drugs and not die.” Peter Ernest Lawrence Buck is born 6 December 1956 in Berkeley, California, U. Buck is ‘a fanatical record collector’ of diverse tastes, ranging from ‘classic rock to punk to free jazz’ and is also learning to play guitar. A mutual friend introduces Stipe and Buck to Mike Mills and Bill Berry, two students of the University of Georgia, who are also music fans. The group debuts on 5 April 1980 at a birthday party for a friend at a converted Episcopal Church in Athens, Georgia. M., a name Michael Stipe randomly selects while flipping through a dictionary. One of those who attend the gig is a record store clerk named Jefferson Holt. Mike Mills has a relationship with Ingrid Schorr in 1980-1981. Following on from them, other local acts like Pylon, and The Method Actors drew some attention. ‘Selling out’ to a wider audience dooms many an alt rock act whose fans jealously react against ‘their’ bands ‘abandoning’ them.