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.
I haven´t listened to the podcast yet, but have been thinking about the concept a lot. Even when relatives sing the same line without harmonies, it´s a great double track. And with harmonies, magical. Some of my favorites:
Let´s not leave out twins:
And any excuse to mention Mother Maybelle, June, Anita, Helen:
At UT Hootenanny! Did they ever play with Renfield?
In 2012, the documentary I directed about the Antenna club and the vibrant music scene which sprang up around it premiered at the Indie Memphis Film Festival. It had a successful festival run, but a commercial release of Antenna has been repeatedly delayed by music rights issues. With the help of J.D. Reager, we managed to convince Bob Holmes, who had become something of a recluse, to do an interview for the film. For three hours, he regaled us with some of the wildest Memphis music stories I have ever had the good fortune to hear. In order to honor the passing of a Memphis musical genius, I have uploaded the Modifiers segments from Antenna to YouTube and present it here for the first time since 2012.