Whoa, it’s been a busy week both for Mike Mills himself and for us here at Mike Mills Tribute! First of all, a huge THANK YOU to Scott Branton, who was lucky enough to attend the show last Saturday at Tipitina’s French Quarter, New Orleans, and who has kindly sent me several photos and a brief report. By the way, Scott is a fellow bassist, and his band Moonshine Romance is well worth checking out! Scott’s photos have just been added to our 2010 gallery, and here’s what he had to say about the gig:

The Tipitina’s show? Wow –it was truly an amazing event. Special guests Scott McCaughey on guitar, David Silverman on Sousaphone (original Simpsons animator and director) and of course Mike Mills on bass. Mike singing “Rockville” was great, but the goosebumps really came out with the tribute to Alex Chilton in the amazingly reverent rearrangement of “The Letter”. The energy of the encore, “Ohio”, was off the charts – one of those great moments when the caged tiger is set loose.

Uhhh, just reading this gave me goosebumps.

Also, I am very thankful to Karin (the birthday girl!) who has volunteered to help us with our ever-growing Press Archive! She has retyped this great article from the November 1992 issue of SPIN: although Mike Mills wasn’t interviewed, his R.E.M. bandmates Peter Buck and Michael Stipe had lots of interesting things to say about the band’s songwriting process, and even more importantly, on the early days of college radio and what it was like when they first started playing. [One word: Anarchy!]

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16 Responses to “Mike Mills At Tipitina’s: Exclusive Photos and Report”

  1. Kay in KCMO Says:

    What? No Mike on sousaphone? Mike on sousaphone!! I’m sure he lost his lip long ago, but Mike on sousaphone!! At the very least I hope he was a little tempted to hoist that sucker to see what he could do. Maybe there should be a campaign to get him to try out his old marching band instrument. Who’s with me? winking

    Btw, if I ever saw this, I don’t think I’d ever stop laughing. Seriously. happy

  2. Ivana Says:

    Great idea! So, we’ll be running two campaigns for R.E.M.’s next tour, the Sousaphone Campaign and the Near Wild Heaven Campaign. 8)

    Btw didn’t Mills mention once that there are photos of him playing the sousaphone in his high school yearbooks? Now all we gotta do is find those. tongue

  3. DinahDoll Says:

    Sorry no photos of sousaphone but this will do:


  4. Kay in KCMO Says:

    I’d forgotten all about his saxophone experiment. Great job with the picture, Dinah. Any idea what the occasion was?

    Now which high school did Mike attend down there in Macon? Surely yearbooks can’t be too hard to find…

  5. DinahDoll Says:

    Kay, the pic was taken in August 1999 when Mike played a gig with Wilco in Atlanta. I scanned it from the book “Adventures in Hi-Fi – The Complete REM”

  6. Ivana Says:

    Yeah I have that book too – lots of great pictures there, but I haven’t had the time to scan them yet.
    And lol Kay, now you’re gonna make me reread all those R.E.M. biographies and companion books to see if I can find info on Mike’s high school. If my memory serves me right, Bill Berry has said that their school was in an almost exclusively black neighbourhood, and a majority of students were Afro-Americans.

  7. Kay in KCMO Says:

    Yeah, Mike and Bill got bussed as part of integration so we know from that that it was a public high school. Mike’s Wiki entry is no help whatsoever. From the tiny amount of research (if you can call it that) that I did there seems to currently be three public high schools in Macon. But, this was just a glance at the listing.

    We know he graduated in ’75 so I’d think in order to get sousaphone pics we’d want to go back to ’74 or ’73, right? Did he continue with the ‘phone after he took up the bass? Oh, my, this is becoming a bit involved, isn’t it? lol

  8. Elena Says:

    One of those R.E.M. biographies did contain lots of info on the bandmembers’ pre-fame days… Was it “It Crawled From The South”?!? I’m not sure, I don’t have that book with me now. sad

  9. Martine Says:

    Graduated in 75? At 16? I don’t think so, I think it was 77. He took one year off before enrolling at UGA in January 79….As far as my info goes.
    As to the name of the high school, I have read all those books too, and never come across it…

  10. Ivana Says:

    Yeah Martine is right, it was probably ’77. Anyway, I hereby announce launch of the 2011 REM Tour Sousaphone Campaign! Now, if anyone’s got any ideas re: how to go on with the campaign, just post ‘em here. winking

  11. Kay in KCMO Says:

    ’77. Yup, y’all are right. My bad, as the kids say (do the kids still say that?).

    Elena, I think you’re right about “It Crawled from the South” having loads of bio info. Like you my copy is also not easily accessible. I might have to start digging.

    Count me in for the sousaphone campaign. Now for the ideas…hmmm…

  12. Dol Says:

    I’m with you girls, but all my ideas can be misunderstood. You know, we can’t scream “pull out the sousaphone!”… Mmm no, definetly.

  13. Ivana Says:

    Roflmao Dol, you’re so right – “Pull out the sousaphone”, that’s totally open to various interpretations. tongue

  14. CK Says:

    I thought I saw Mr. Mills outside the Roosevelt Hotel while I was in town for Jazzfest. I tried to play it cool, telling myself no way was it Mike Mills. Now I’m convinced it was him, and I missed my chance to say a simple “thank you” to the man who has brought me so much pleasure through his music.

  15. Ivana Says:

    Oh. sad But you never know, you might meet him again – it’s a small world.

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