In the early 80’s, the American charts were under attack from UK synthesizer bands and only major label acts with enough money for slick videos could get on the new MTV.
Recorded entirely in the US, Ken Sweeney travels to Georgia, to hear how REM set out from their home town of Athens as evangelists for a new alternative music which returned to simple melody and jangling
What REM achieved was beyond their wildest dreams, but it took nearly a decade for them to get there.
In an era when photogenic pop stars were as much pop stylists and businessmen as musicians, REM took an independent path to become the biggest band in America.
The trigger for ‘REM Out Of Athens’ was a recently found band flyer from their early days on the road in which REM encourage fans to check out rival independent American acts.
REM’s Michael Stipe and Mike Mills, producers Joe Boyd and Mitch Easter, REM manager Bertis Downs, members of 10,000 Maniacs, and Athens band Pylon, REM road crew as well as long time REM associate and tour guide Paul Butchart.
Produced and narrated by Ken Sweeney
‘REM Out Of Athens’
RTE Radio One airs at 2pm slot on Thursday 28th December.