Ten Favorite Southpaw Musicians: Michael Stipe (#6)

@FourWalls (15252)
United States
August 18, 2017 10:21am CST
Concert week has arrived!!! It's going to be a loaded week, with Dale Watson, the Quebe Sisters, and starting tonight -- Los Lobos!! Before I head to Nashville and that sold-out show, I'll give you another favorite left-handed musician, a countdown I started to celebrate International Lefthanders Day. Oh, and it's fitting that I'm seeing Los Lobos during this countdown, because Cesar Rosas of the band is a southpaw. Anyway, he didn't make the list but this next person did. #6: Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) If you've read any of my countdowns or comments you know that R.E.M. ranks highly on my list of favorite bands from the 80s, so you're probably thinking, "Only number six?" Yeah, he's The Prisoner. Why he's ranked comparatively low will become obvious in the second half of the countdown. Meanwhile, let's talk about Michael Stipe! The left-handed frontman and lyricist for the Hall of Fame act R.E.M. went from a mumbling lead singer who frequently sang with his back to the audience (if you watch their first TV appearance, on Letterman in 1983, you'll see he sat down on the drum riser while Peter Buck and Mike Mills did the talking) to a southern-drawl voice of a generation. "Everybody Hurts"? You know it. I sort of met Stipe once. After they played in Louisville in 1989 I went to the post-concert party. Stipe, ferociously shy even in a comparatively small and private setting (you had to know someone [in my case, someone who worked for their record label] to be there, you couldn't just waltz in off the street), sat apart from the other band members, who were fun and funny and talkative (especially Peter Buck, he was a hoot). The good news is that R.E.M. retired, and on their own terms (it wasn't one of those messy band break-ups that might lead to a "I'll tolerate you for the multi-million dollar reunion tour" reunion tour [cough-cough, Eagles]). I hope they enjoy "retirement" (not really "retired": I met Mike Mills again a couple of years ago with his new band, the Baseball Project), because the incredible music they gave the world will resonate for several generations to come. Happy International Lefthanders Day, Michael. Michael Stipe Born John Michael Stipe, January 4, 1960, Decatur, Georgia (age 57) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - 2007 Here's a song about nuclear war from back in the 80s...that seems like it was written yesterday:
Music video by R.E.M. performing Fall On Me.
8 people like this
7 responses
@JolietJake (51107)
• United States
18 Aug 17
I am not a number, I am a free man! Michael is ONE DAY older than me.
3 people like this
@FourWalls (15252)
• United States
18 Aug 17
And several million dollars richer. But he doesn't have Scar.
3 people like this
@JolietJake (51107)
• United States
18 Aug 17
@FourWalls I take my 'wins' where I can find 'em
3 people like this
• Bournemouth, England
18 Aug 17
I take it you're classing singers as musicians. I've always assumed that Stipe was, like myself, instrumentally challenged. Fascinated to read that Peter Buck can be an extrovert because he always seemed a bit shy in videos (although he did wave the mandolin around a bit in the promo for that 'Happy' hit which Stipe so hated).
3 people like this
• United States
18 Aug 17
What a beautiful voice....He is great really wonderful Four Walls.
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@amadeo (73344)
• United States
18 Aug 17
could have been written yesterday.
3 people like this
@JohnRoberts (63170)
• Los Angeles, California
18 Aug 17
Needless to say R.E.M. is a giant of the new wave world. Losing My Religion is an all time favorite song. You are going to get a taste of my hometown: Los Lobos, the pride of East LA!
3 people like this
@kobesbuddy (55473)
• East Tawas, Michigan
18 Aug 17
@Fourwalls Many film stars and musicians are painfully shy, George Harrison was that way. Yet on stage, they appear to be so carefree and confident!:(We saw Kid Rock (by accident) at a Lionel Richie concert and he's absolutely in LOVE with himself! (Kid Rock)
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (41406)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
19 Aug 17
I didn't know Stipe is a lefty. R.E.M. - One of the most popular bands on MyLot!
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (15252)
• United States
19 Aug 17
There is one "obvious" southpaw left. Everyone else you'll probably say "I didn't know he was a lefty."
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41406)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
19 Aug 17
@FourWalls - Jimi Hendrix! I know what a big fan of his you are!
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@FourWalls (15252)
• United States
19 Aug 17
@teamfreak16 -- no, silly, Billy Ray Cyrus!
1 person likes this