You Might be a Fan of R.E.M But Did You Know This?

Near the end of the 80s, R.E.M. signed one of the biggest record deals in history when they jumped from the indie label I.R.S. to the major label Warner Bros. Okay, so maybe you knew that. But did you know that Led Zeppelin’s bassist, John Paul Jones, helped shape one of R.E.M’s best albums?

R.E.M. 09-1994
R.E.M. 09-1994. Photo By Globe Photos/Mediapunch/Shutterstock

If you’re a fan of R.E.M.’s music but feel like you don’t really know anything about the band, then stick around for a moment and learn a few fun facts!

Two Bucks a Day

Before the band released their first single, their budget for food while on tour was $2 a day. Yeah. Like most struggling bands, they had to tour during most of their early days.

MTV Music Awards, America - 1995
MTV Music Awards, America – 1995. Source: Shutterstock

They went from show to show in an old rickety van that was driven by their manager. And that manager gave them a whopping two bucks a day for food. It was the 90s. Things were a little cheaper back then… I guess.

Michael Stipe Was Babbling

You weren’t the only one who couldn’t make out a single word Michael Stipe was singing in songs like Chronic Town or Murmur. You, like many others, just figured he was making stuff up to fit the song.

R.E.M., Michael Stipe
R.E.M., Michael Stipe. Photo By Adrian C Nitu/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Well, as it turns out, he later admitted that that’s exactly what he did. I guess some singers can get away with it. Stipe is one of them.

Their TV Debut

R.E.M.’s first TV appearance was on David Letterman’s NBC show back in the day. In October 1983, the group appeared on Late Night With David Letterman. That night, they performed Radio Free Europe.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, New York, America - 12 Mar 2007
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, New York, America – 12 Mar 2007. Michael Stipe and Mike Mills. Photo By Greg Allen/Shutterstock

They also performed their brand-new single, So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry). But at that point, the track was still unnamed. You can go ahead now and search for it on YouTube.

How MTV Killed the Radio Star, and Changed the World

The Struggles and Hope Behind Tracy’s Fast Car

Why People Still Believe Tupac Is Alive

What’s the Best Protest Song of All Time? It Might be This

The Most Legendary Band Mate Feuds in Rock History

We Think We Know These Songs, But We’ve Been Wrong All Along