(pic of me & Michael Stipe by Rick Wagner?)
Because of their association with the headliner, the dB’s -- and Rick -- knew the guys in REM, a.k.a. It Crawled from the South. In 1984, they had become a phenomenon and were growingly popular. The small theater for the gig was packed with enthusiastic young (college aged) fans of the hardworking little quartet from Athens, Georgia.
Backstage, I met Michael Stipe, who at the time had long curly locks and wore thick black framed glasses. I really liked his look. When he took off his glasses, he reminded me of Elvis Presley, with the shape of his lips and his eyes. Of course, his stage persona was nothing like the flashy King; Stipe commanded attention by being so intensely focused on his performance and shy self that he radiated a charisma that burned from within, forcing fans to pay attention. His singing voice, of course, had the right qualities and his lyrics were ambiguous and singable enough. . . all augmented and gelled together by the band, with harmonies and bass by Mike Mills and jangle pop chording by Pete Buck, along with the solid drumwork of Bill Berry.
Outside the venue, Stipe stopped for a casual pic or two with me and Rick (or maybe Rick was taking the pic?)