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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.