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Part 4. Where To Get More Information about R.E.M. (Books)

Several books have been published about R.E.M. The best of them are listed
below, with a brief description and some bibliographical information. If
your local bookstore does not carry a title you want, you should ask them
to special order it, and provide them with the publisher and ISBN
information included below.

REMnants - The R.E.M. Collector's Handbook and Price Guide, by Gary Nabors.
A list of over 1200 collectible R.E.M. items fully described and valued,
plus a 29 page interview with Peter.  A must for the die-hard R.E.M.
collector. (Eclipse Publishers, 261 pages, ISBN 0963624148.)

It Crawled From The South: An R.E.M. Companion, by Marcus Gray. Second
expanded ed.: Da Capo Press, March 1997, ISBN: 0306807513.  
This is THE book for the serious fan.  Some might even go so far as 
to say to read this and REMnants cover to cover before posting to! This book is considerably more in-depth than REMarks.

REMarks: The Story of R.E.M., by Tony Fletcher. Second ed. of the first bio
to appear. A pretty complete compilation of all the well-known info about
the band, with lots of pretty pictures.   Probably the best bio for the
casual fan. (London : Omnibus, 1993. 159 p. ISBN 0711932212 (pbk),
0711932212 (cloth).)

R.E.M.: Behind the Mask, by Jim Greer. A pretty hardcover coffee table book
written by a writer from SPIN. The author pretty much re-wrote REMarks,
replacing fact with his own opinions.  (Little Brown, 1992, ISBN

Party Out Of Bounds, by Rodger Lyle Brown. A book about the early (and
mostly pre-REM) Athens music scene. Marcus Gray (author of It Crawled From
the South) called it "entertaining."   (Out of Print as of this writing.)

R.E.M. File Under Water, by John Story.   An update of "A Few Chords and A
Cloud of Dust", a complete discography, bootleg list, etc. published a
while back by Total Recall Productions. (Imaginary Books, ISBN

Talk About the Passion, by Denise Sullivan. Interviews with various folks
about the band over the years. (Charles F. Miller Books, 1994, ISBN

REM: The "Rolling Stone" Files: The Ultimate Compendium of Interviews,
Articles, Facts & Opinions from the Files "Rolling Stone". (Hyperion/
Little Brown, 1995, 320p., ISBN 0786880546, $14.95 retail price)

There have also been some cheap "CD-size" biographies of the band put out
by various publishers to be sold in music stores that all rehash material
from the primary sources listed above.

Part 5.  R.E.M. On Video

Nearly all videos created for R.E.M. songs are available on one of several
full-length video compilation releases. These are:

R.E.M. Succumbs (videos for Murmur through Lifes Rich Pageant)
Pop Screen (videos for Document and Green)
This Film is On (videos for Out Of Time)
Parallel (videos for Automatic for the People and Monster)
      Note: Parallel was released with two versions: "A" and "D".
      (The "A" version cuts explicit nudity from the "Nightswimming" 
      video that is present in the "D" version.)

In addition, two full-length concert documentaries have been released:

Tourfilm (Green tour documentary)
Roadmovie (Monster tour documentary)

All these videocassettes/videodisks are in print and can probably be found
in your local hip music video emporium even as you read this.  Most stores
should be willing to special order a title for you if they do not have it
in stock, so don't be shy about asking.

Four older videos not on these compilations are: "Wolves, Lower"; "(All
I've Got To Do Is) Dream" and "Swan Swan H" from the "Athens, Ga,
Inside/Out" soundtrack (all scenes from the film, which is available on
video); and the MTV version of "Radio Free Europe" (music is the same, but
this version of the clip contains snippets of live footage interspersed
with the regular video.)

After the release of Parallel on 5/30/95, the band put out a video for the
song "Tongue"; it is not known if this will be included on a future
compilation for New Adventures in Hi Fi or not. Also, PBS and MTV also
showed the documentary Rough Cut, which featured an interview with the band
interspersed with back-stage rehearsal footage from the Monster tour and a
Saturday Night Live appearance.

Videos that have been recorded for songs on New Adventures but which have
not yet been collected include "How the West Was Won...", "E-bow the Letter",
"Bittersweet Me," and "Electrolite". Presumably they will be issued in a set
with videos from the band's next album's singles.

Other R.E.M. related videotapes are: the previously-mentioned Athens, GA,
Inside/Out documentary on the Athens, GA music scene, and Arena Brains, a
short film by Robert Longo (who also directed the video for "The One I
Love" and the film Johnny Mnemonic) -- featuring Michael Stipe's acting


Part 6. Resources Available On the Internet


   * What is on.

Other newsgroups that might be of interest to r.m.r regulars include: (very busy group, be forewarned!); (for all the R.E.M. fans also fans of Indigo
Girls and 10,000 Maniacs' Natalie Merchant); or* (several groups where you might find R.E.M.'s music
worked out by others).

EMAIL LIST-SERVER (reflector or digest)

With the demise of the MURMUR list, there currently exists no general email
forum to which you can subscribe to discuss R.E.M. The previous mailing
list organizer may be able to provide a list of former subscribers to
Murmur should someone really be interested in picking the job up.

There are, however, several lists dedicated to individual members of the
band, and for info on them you should check out the following sites:

   * Mike Mills (OIC3MH)
   * Michael Stipe (MLA = Mumbles Lovers Anonymous)
   * Peter Buck (BUCKHEADS)
   * Bill Berry (DATG)
   * The whole band (REMarks)

All have a digest option and can be subscribed to by sending email to with the command syntax (where "listname" is the name
in parentheses above, and "" is your email address:
subscribe listname

or, for the digest version,
subscribe listname-digest


R.E.M. Home Page

Includes an assortment of R.E.M. material and hypertext links to other
resources. Maintained by Jason Zimberoff (

Kipp Teague's Lyrics

Allows one to choose albums and songs to view various lyrics, very nicely
set up. Same text as the old Fables email lyrics archive, which Kipp Teague
<> has maintained for many years.

Lyric Annotations FAQ

A compendium of answers to various obscure references and allusions in
R.E.M. lyrics.

* Some other WWW sites as of this writing are:

Official Warner Bros. Site

Jim Barry's STIPEY.COM

Chris Bray's site for chords and tabs

Bootleg info

More great R.E.M. links

If you maintain a serious R.E.M.-related web site and would like your URL
listed here in the FAQ, email me and I'll be happy to consider it. (I may
not include sites that are chiefly collections of links to sites people
already know about, however.)

Part 7.  A Primer on R.E.M. Bootlegs/Live Tapes

Bootlegged recordings of R.E.M. concerts, and early demo versions of songs
from their albums, are widely available; comparisons have been made between
R.E.M. fandom and Deadheads on the basis of their shared appetite for live
recordings of their respective favorite band.  Remember that these
recordings are, strictly speaking, illegal, and are therefore not available
in retail record outlets. So, if you want to get hold of some, here are a
few ways to go about it:

1. Go look in USED record and CD stores. Some used stores won't deal in
boots, but many do. If you live in or near a big city (bootlegs tend to be
harder to find in small-town used stores), take a field trip and dig, dig,
dig. Some older bootlegs are only on vinyl, but most new ones are on CD.
Some stores also sell multiple-generation taped copies of random shows,
which don't sound as good, but are certainly much cheaper.

2. Go to record shows. While many dealers will sell recordings of
questionable legality and origin, you can also find things at record shows
not available elsewhere... you pay your money and you take your chances!
But there are great finds to be had.

3. Mail order. _Goldmine_ magazine has extensive advertisements from people
who deal in bootlegs. You may want to ask other group readers about
particular dealers before sending off your money, since some of them aren't
too reliable. From some people's experience, Midnight Records (out of NYC)
is a legitimate record store that has a very good mail order department, as
is Minus Zero Records at 2 Blenheim Crescent in London. They both are
reputed to have great bootleg selections.

4. Trade. If you see someone talking on about a bootleg they
have you think sounds interesting, ask that person politely if they might
be willing to trade.

Some folks (but not all) will send you a copy of their bootleg in exchange
for enough cash to cover both return postage and the cassette, some will
also want to be compensated for the time they will spend taping for you,
and still others will only want to exchange with you for some rare
recording that they are looking for (in which case, if you don't have what
they're looking for, they won't be interested in trading with you).

This kind of person-to-person trading is a great way to acquire boots since
you're dealing with a private individual instead of a store, or bootleg
company of questionable morals -- sometimes you can not only get a cool
R.E.M. recording, but make a friend as well.

HOWEVER: Make sure you come to a solid agreement before you send off tapes
or cash! This cannot be stressed enough. Many flame wars have gotten
started over a misunderstanding about terms and the time-frame for getting
the recordings done and mailed back (some people will get it done in a
week, others may take months; everyone has differing priorities). Please
try to contact the person by phone or email before posting to
that they are dishonest... people are sometimes busy, and sometimes
honestly forget commitments. It's real ugly when people start making
accusations in public about other contributors' honesty (or
lack thereof).

You may find that if you offer some bootleg or compilation tape of rare
songs to the entire net, you will be SWAMPED with requests for it. Be aware
of this if you don't want to get committed to making dozens and dozens of
copies of a single tape -- remember, many THOUSANDS of people read each day. Sometimes people will offer to make a certain
number of copies for the first `N' number of people who reply, or will ask
for a particular type of recording in trade, in order to reduce the number
of responses.

In Summary

Bear in mind that buying new bootlegs is expensive. Vinyl boots used to go
for least US $10 per LP disk, and now, in "vintage record" shops, may cost
more than twice that. CD boots run about US $20-30 per disc. However,
making an investment in buying an excellent quality CD boot means you can
easily tape and trade copies of it for other things, and your collection of
tapes can therefore grow quickly.

Because the sound quality of bootlegs varies widely, if you are considering
buying or ordering a bootleg, consult the bootleg discography first, watch
the newsgroup for discussions on titles you are interested in, or post a
question about the sound quality (it would appear that most of the common
boots are owned by at least a few readers) before shelling out the cash. If
you are buying a bootleg in a used CD shop, ask the clerk if they will play
a couple cuts for you before you buy.

The Great Bootleg Discography (see
or has descriptions, ratings,
and setlists for just about every bootleg that has been released on LP and
CD. Boots taken from radio broadcasts of concerts are usually good-quality
soundboard recordings, though are often very widely available under
multiple titles from different bootleg outfits -- so be careful you don't
inadvertently duplicate a show you already own.

Audience recordings, meanwhile, are generally of mediocre quality and may
not be worth the effort unless the sound turned out surprisingly well and
the people in the rows around the person making the recording kept their
mouths shut (yeah, sure, you wanted a tape of Joe Shmoe's drunk buddy in
the next seat singing along out of key at the top of his lungs to "Losing
My Religion", or somebody's airhead date saying "Ohmigod, the singer is
like tot'ly bald!"), or if the show itself was particularly significant (a
show you attended, for example, or something cool like the pre-_Murmur_
performances, most notably _So Much Younger Then_).

Finally, A Word About Posting Scurrilous Rumors

Don't expect anyone to believe a rumor you've heard unless you can back it
up with concrete evidence. "My best friend said so," is NOT enough.  If you
hear something that you'd like to try to confirm, please specify that it is
a rumor and not a fact, and take your chances (in other words, you might
still get flamed). But bear in mind nearly all gossip about a celebrity
(especially about Michael Stipe, who in R.E.M. seems to be the rumor
magnet) is only innuendo without real evidence.


Part 8. An Index of Subjects

This alphabetical listing of  the topics covered in FAQ questions is
designed to make it easier for you to zero right in on the answer of your
particular question. If you just want to wander through FAQ and its answers
randomly, proceed to Part 4, the FAQ Proper.

"11" [song on Green] B8
"After Hours, The" D4
AIDS rumor A8
Amos, Tori C16
Automatic for the People, origin of name A10

"Be Mine" C22
Berry, Bill B10
Bingo Hand Job D1
Buck, Peter
     and Buck, Rob (10,000 Maniacs) A13
Burns, Robert C11

"Can't Get There from Here" C7
Caroline (woman in videos) A14
Charles, Ray C7
Chesnutt, Vic B16
Chronic Town
     cover B9
     available separately B14
Clift, Montgomery C9
Cobain, Kurt A16
Cohen, Leonard C15
Countdown myth B4
"Country Feedback" C17
Covers versions(released) D10

Document cover art B12
"(Don't Go Back to) Rockville" C18

Earpiece monitor D9
E-bow C21
"Eleventh Untitled Song" B8
Email addresses A6
"Exhuming McCarthy" C10

Fables of the Reconstruction
      cover art B11
      quality A5
Fan Club A1
Finster, Howard B5
"First We Take Manhattan" C15
Flame wars A5
Fours and "R"s on Green B3
"Future's 40 (String of Pearls)" D3

Gang of Four D5
Grasso, Carl B13
      4's and R's on liner B3
     last track name B8
"Green Grow the Rushes" C11

"Harpers" D6
Hersh, Kristen C14
Hindu Love Gods A9
Holsapple, Peter D2
Holt, Jefferson A19
Hugo Largo D6

Inaugural ball performance D7
"It Might Hurt a Little Bit" C16

Kaufman, Andy C20
Krazy Kat A15

Lifes Rich Pageant
     cover art B7,B10
     track numbering B7
Linklater, Richard C5
"Love Is All Around" D8
Lyrics, meaningless C2

"Man on the Moon" C20
McCarthy, Joseph C10
Meaning of band name A4
Merchant, Natalie C13
Mills, Mike
     suits A11
     vocals on MTV Unplugged D8
     in band Butter08 A17
     liner notes B1
"Monty Got a Raw Deal" C9

Naming of album sides B6
"Neverland" D2
New Years' Eve breakup A7
Newsletters A3
Numbering countdown myth B4
Nudie suits (Mills) A11

Oasis (the band) A20
"One" D7

Pavement (band) A12
"Photograph" C13

Rather, Dan C6
     breaking up on New Years' A7
     covers D10
     email addresses A6
     origin of name A4

     cover art B5
     tribute song A12
     untitled musical snippet C12
Reconstruction of the Fables B11
"Revolution" (song) B15
Rockville, MD C18

Scheaffer, Ken C6
"Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight" C3
"Sitting Still" C1
Smith, Patti A18
Spitting Gargoyle of Notre Dame B9
"Sponge" B16
"Star 69" C19
Stipe, Michael
     AIDS rumor A8
     earpiece monitor D9
     first name A2
     friend Caroline in videos A14
     side projects C14,C16,D3,D6
Straw, Syd D3
     intro sounds C4
     not listed on LRP B7
"Superwoman" B7

Tatoo A15
     unidentified music D3,D4,D5,D6
Troggs D8

U2 D7
"Untitled" B8

Velvet Underground D4
"Voice of Harold" C8

"We Live As We Dream, Alone" D5
Welch, Joseph C10
"What's the Freq. Kenneth?"
     lyrics C5,C6
     single cover B2

"Your Ghost" C14


This file is currently maintained by, and new entries (since 1995) were
written by, Ron Henry (; many thanks to previous authors
and maintainers whose efforts this version is based on. Thanks also to
numerous newsgroup members past and present who have offered
information, corrections and criticism to the contents of this FAQ (you may
or may not know who you are!)  Special thanks go to Kipp Teague, long-time
wrangler of this document, and to Valerie Ohm, original list manager at
M.I.T. and author of the original text of many of the FAQ questions.

Permission is given to quote and reproduce  portions of this text provided
that you credit the source (" FAQ" with date of the version
being quoted) and provided that you *do not make any attempt to pass off
the text as your own work.*  It's always better WWW etiquette to link 
to existing resources, than copy the pages wholesale.

Further suggestions are always welcome (email to 
or Keep those virtual cards and letters coming!


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