Skip directly to content

My Lifes Rich Pageant: A R.E.M. Life Story

Yesterday I visited REM:HQ and saw something about R.E.M. "walking away." I knew what it meant but I had to read it. And it was true. After over 31 years of making music, R.E.M. has decided to walk away and call it a day... I admit I am heartbroken beyond repair...

Until 5th grade the only music I knew was classical. I loved it, don't get me wrong, but I couldn't help but feel something was missing. Then one day while on a road trip, I borrowed a CD from a friend to put in my Walkman, and the first song just took me by surprise. The song was "Man on the Moon." I had no clue who wrote it, but it felt like I had found what I was always missing. I listened to that song 36 times and memorized the lyrics on that car ride, along with the song "Great Beyond." I felt like I had found the most amazing thing in the world. The music swept me off my feet and held me aloft in its beauty. I knew I would never be the same.

Three years later, in 8th grade, I bought my first iPod. By that time I was into a band called Switchfoot, but I had not forgotten those songs. At the time, I couldn't remember the name of the band that wrote those beautiful songs, but the lyrics were still in my mind, clear as day. One day, I was digging through my parents CD collection, and saw a name that sparked my memory. It said R.E.M. "Out Of Time." I FREAKED when I remembered their name! Unfortunately, that album did not have the songs that I had memorized, but there was a song whose name intrigued me, "Losing My Religion." I felt that would be a bad song for me and my Christian background. But I became addicted to the songs "Texarkana", "Near Wild Heaven", "Belong", "Country Feedback", "Half A World Away", and "Me In Honey." I listened to those songs over and over and over again, learning the lyrics and the guitar chords. I began grabbing random songs off of iTunes, the first of course being "Man On The Moon" and "The Great Beyond." I also randomly downloaded a song with an odd name "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" and that one exposed me to another sound of R.E.M. that I had never heard before. I also randomly downloaded a song with another cool name, "Radio Free Europe" and was immediately captured by the melodic bass and the quick picked and bright sounding guitar. I had no clue what Michael Stipe, the singer, was saying so I listened to it about 50 more times just to learn the lyrics. I changed my picking style on guitar to sound like Peter Buck, the guitarist, and began to experiment with a bass sound that was not just rhythm, but melodic to be like Mike Mills, the bassist.

Part way through my freshman year, I decided I would listen to "Losing My Religion" just to see if it was a good song. The mandolin lead immediately caught my attention and held me the whole song. The vague lyrics captured me in mystery.
From that day until sophomore year, I listened to R.E.M. daily and nightly, all the time. Whether in class, at lunch, while walking, in church, and everywhere else, I always had an earbud in just listening.

Sophomore year, I knew I had to increase my collection. I didn't want the crappy MP3 quality I was listening to, so I ran to the library and checked out every single R.E.M. album. All the studio albums, the live albums, the best of sets, and the singles were all spread out on my bed as I began a weekend of listening. At the end of the weekend, I knew I needed to keep the songs. I uploaded every CD onto my computer. I decided to listen to them in WAV format instead of MP3 format in order to have even slightly better quality. With every song on my computer and in my iPod, I spent hours just listening to album after album to hear every style of R.E.M. When I first heard "Man On The Moon", I thought they were pure beauty. "Out Of Time" had me thinking of baroque and country at the same time. But the album "Murmur" was something I could not put my finger on. The album "Reveal" actually changed my life. It was happy, sad, bright, dark, and intoxicating all at the same time. "Accelerate" was powerful and charged up. It reminded my of a combo of "Document" and "New Adventures In Hi-Fi." "New Adventures In Hi-Fi" is my favorite album of the 90's and one of my top 3 favorite albums by R.E.M. Like Michael said, "It was my dark horse favorite album." "Automatic For The People" had me wanting more R.E.M. I had found the album with "Man On The Moon." I had reached a milestone in my R.E.M. infatuation. My computer teacher let me listen to R.E.M. everyday in class and I found even more R.E.M. songs. I needed more though.

My junior year in high school, I felt I needed to play my music like them. It came so naturally to me on my Stratocaster guitar, to quickly pick up and down the strings, but the sound was not there. My writing became vague like the early years of R.E.M. The sound that sealed my addiction to their guitar style appeared to me on the album "Dead Letter Office." It was bright, easy-going, minor key, chiming, and jangly. It was just what I needed to make me search for the best way to replicate that sound. I invested all my time into making money in order to purchase a Rickenbacker 360. All the while, I was joining R.E.M. websites, reading R.E.M. books, and finding old bootleg cassette tapes.

The winter of my junior year I finally obtained my jetglo Rickenbacker 360. According to the auctioneer, Peter Buck himself used the guitar (doubtful but still! If only!) I felt like I had a piece of history, a musical powerhouse in my hands. The jangle sound overflowed my soul with the purity of R.E.M. I could play "Talk About The Passion" all the way up to "Living Well Is The Best Revenge" all the while sounding like a Peter Buck wannabe. I worked on my own style and combined Peters sound and my own style and created a different sound that was R.E.M. like and something else I had not heard before. But I had reached another milestone in my addiction.

Senior year was my history year. I learned the history of R.E.M. like the back of my hand. I watched every movie they made, read every book about them, and began to find bands that they had influenced (there are a LOT). My radio show focused on R.E.M. multiple times. I created a Rockumentary about them for my radio class. I even found and downloaded the hidden collection REMnants.

Now, it is my Freshman year in college. I'm in a band playing the style I created. My posters of R.E.M. are in my room, the Rickenbacker by my bed, and my iPod of R.E.M. always plugged in to my speaker. I have vinyl’s, cassettes, CD's, movies, and books everywhere, all R.E.M. related. I am a true fan.
Then yesterday, September 21st, I saw that they were breaking up. I can't stand it. "Oh My Heart, Oh My Heart, Oh My Heart..." Michael said, 'the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave.' 31 years of magic. They covered the world in music. They inspired so many people, so many bands, so many musicians, and so many fans. They have played every style imaged. The have left no stone unturned, no door left closed, no path not taken, nothing left unchallenged. They toured at first in a van and battled through small club circuits. They joined a major record label, but made sure that they had full artistic freedom in every aspect. They toured the globe and they recorded and wrote so much. And one word can be associated with them. "Integrity." They played their whole life without compromising that.
They marked an era. They were the best, the greatest, and most talented R.E.M. I imagine the band leaving the studio to the end of the song "Electrolite" "I'm not scared... I'm outta here"

-All The Best
Riley R. Allen

SAVE

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

Safe HTML

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <img> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <u> <br> <p> <span> <blockquote> <hr> <table> <tr> <td> <tbody> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <address> <div> <pre> <thead> <tfoot> <th>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

Comments

zoltanban5's picture

The stylistic vocabulary Fake Watches of Chanel fine jewelry adds a new icon: the lion. Born under the constellation Rolex Replica Leo on August 19, 1883, Mademoiselle Chanel loved reproduce the majestic effigy on the buttons patek philippe replica on his clothes and had in his apartment in many works of art to the image of the King of the animals, emblem of Venice, one of his favorite cities. Masterfully interpreted, this new symbol appears on a plush Saltire.

merlinhof's picture

different locations, even if they are in the same room discount eve of milady wedding dresses .  Also, be sure to understand the pricing of the location since you might wind up needing to purchase an extra hour of time at the reception location. 
Why A Destination Wedding white bridal gowns we offer 2012 lace wedding dresses,white wedding dress designers,lace wedding dress and wedding gowns?
If you have always dreamed of tropical nuptials a line summer dress , then a destination wedding is for you.  Surprisingly different look that you will not acquire in traditional styles. In addition, they’re surely in retaining using the present-day trends. long prom dresses 2011
As with any styles of dresses, when you find yourself thinking about buying short prom dresses from designers like Sherry Couture floral summer dresses , long white dresses ensure you consider them on. What looks superior within the hanger may not be

wjgq's picture

"Well, three mountain axe with three other organization different. Three axes mountain, known as the four big organization! They are not training young people. Want to join three axes mountain, low threshold is' cosmic & # 39;. Because not cultivate people, so this time in the bound in the bound, only occasionally three axes mountain of the strong disciple, some very few people, XingBuCheng forces." HeRe explanation. beats solo
, the thor, flood out Chinese. Don't train young people, so in the assessment of an axe mountain a pulse team three natural rarely. No wonder even ho yu & # 39 "; Have to find their own. "So, the main thing is we five party in the strife." HeRe even say with smile ", we now have confirmation about treasure....... Just five party located to trip over each other, so I used to free adventurers. Out in , you join me north high, it will become. temporarily to join, flood, and the thor are some surprising." You confirm the treasure is located? " almost at the same time, the thor said. Well." HeRe nod "there is a ninety percent certainty, treasure in that. Now by our party! If looking at five party not to join us in the party, a party of five have no chance to even enter." Oh- " three wei2 nod, three eyes exchange, already have decided. P: the second chapter to, continue to write the third chapter! 's debts in...... open the treasure chapter 30 text in the bound world, late into the night. five people temporarily to join the north high camp. The whole the core area of the valley, mainly divided into five camps. North high camp." beats solo hd Brother, this is what I said , flood and the thor. " five people talk to people with north high, HeRe are for the two sides to introduce the" this is my brother KaShan 'hebron "" "is that you save my two teacher younger brother please, thank you. Oh, I have important things, let HeRe teacher younger brother with you now. "KaShan smiled at left, his entire people very is lean, about one meter height five, eyes faint extensive the green light, the whole people ShaQi very heavy. KaShan looked at left. , flood, and the thor three people each other, obviously the somebody else didn't care about yourself. Or HeRe face, estimate the somebody else will run to come over to a visit." My brother is the one, don't mind. "HeRe explain." All right. " a smile MAO" we north high camp, a total of about 21, or every person into a square. Main is born to prevent confusion. "HeRe pointed around, is around adventurer, every person together, so that way, a square was born, won't affect others." You want to go where? Now there were six square, people is vacant. "HeRe laughed." Try to close to you Cu s north of the organization's election square. " said." All right, that's no problem. "North high camp phalanx 1, is they now is there. The second day morning. After the big square and other members in chat, he also knows this five many messages." Originally, the treasure is over there! " avoid see five faction of crowding around the central position, it is to build on the plains of in a castle, connect body to the deep blue of the castle." Five faction to guess the very youdao buried "the thor nod" the whole in the bound in the bound, swamps, deserts, lakes, plains, mountains, grasslands, and so on, are all natural environment. Only the building! But also in the world in the bound to build core position. Top of it and is light ball! The location of the castle, it was really may be RongBao position. "" the treasure! "" castle is treasure, but Mie within five sides, but can't move. beats solo hd " shook his head way. Hong fu way:" very normal, just start in the core zone of five sides people not much. They fear that once the measures up, let a lot of free adventurers' a third runs "so began to constantly roping horses, a party pull, five party all pull people! However looking for opportunity, began to rob." Don't know when, hands. "The thor whisper." They did not hurry. The outside of the 20000 troops pioneer, at this time the estimate just into in the bound boundary. " a smile" from in the bound world, fly to the edge core area, and a change days or so. "So, combat is possible by blasting seven days!" prediction that's right, they join in north high on the third day of camp, they had a great thing.

katy's picture

"I imagine the band leaving the studio to the end of the song "Electrolite" "I'm not scared... I'm outta here" "

nice! :)