R.E.M's Michael Stipe on his musical upbringing
This Sunday on the First Time, Matt Everitt's guest is one of the most the most enigmatic influential singers and lyricists in music. As the frontman with R.E.M. Michael Stipe has steered the Athens Georgia fourpiece (who Stipe describes as "The band that had no goals") from the cult underground into the mainstream - setting a precedent for alternative rock bands - and opening the door for bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Radiohead and whole generations of new artists.
In this rare interview, Michael spoke to Matt about the early songs that shaped his music outlook (a love of Tammy Wynette, The Beatles and the soundtrack to The Parent Trap hints at the eclectism that would define his career), his close relationship with Patti Smith (who appears on the R.E.M. album Collapse Into Now), his desire to celebrate the concept of The Album in a broken market and how his band managed to maintain their status and one of the most esoteric groups ever, while also enjoying massive world-wide mainstream success.
This programme was first broadcast on Sunday 17 April 2011.