I listened to a podcast today with R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills and the band’s attorney Bertis Downs. The discussed some of the business aspects of running a massively popular band, but they also shared a lot of interesting stories about the band’s early days, behind the scenes operations, and even an anecdote about playing Losing My Religion around a cauldron in the forests of Paraguay.
This band is one of my all time favorites, and introduced me to the world of music not played on the radio, and they played a major role in changing my view of the world. So, suffice it to say that I was tuned in to every single word of every story.
So this came to be because some business man type finance investment person in Atlanta is best buddies with Downs, and the band. He runs a podcast that appears to be about investing, but thought it would be a good idea to share a behind the scenes look at the business operations required to run a band like this.
I came across this somewhat recent documentary on Mo Tucker, and it’s really interesting to see how her playing evolved and the weird kit configurations she used. Fortunately, it makes no mention of her late life conversion to kook.
Here’s a list of bands to avoid and why to avoid them from Soviet era Russia. If some of you bastards would have had access to this list, you would have likely turned out to be more upstanding comrades, er, citizens.
I’m sure they left out a lot of bands, but I’m wondering how Led Zeppelin didn’t make this list, and The Beatles surely would have stoked the ire of the Communist Part Brass for Back in the USSR.
I’ve been binging on documentaries lately, and this looks like another good one. I got into the VU around the same time I was getting into R.E.M., so it was kind of like listening to the student and the teacher at the same time. I mean these guys, and Nico + Warhol, were pretty out there, but they put together some good records.
I never really was big on Lou Reed solo, in fact, my dumb ass didn’t even know he was in the VU until a few years later.