Exactly a year ago Elena and I launched this website, a tribute to R.E.M.’s “secret weapon”, the phenomenal multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Michael Edward Mills! Our idea was to showcase the many sides of his talent, and to celebrate his (and his band’s) legacy. Hope we’ve fulfilled this goal, and we’re really glad that this unpretentious website has attracted lots of visitors, and even formed a nice and friendly community of regular visitors and contributors! Thank you friends, we couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for you!

As a small anniversary treat, I’ve made a new Mike Mills video – I’ve chosen one of his best vocals ever: a cover of Bo Diddley’s “Road Runner”, recorded in 1994 for the soundtrack of the feature film Backbeat. This cool little movie documents the early days of The Beatles, and the supergroup that was gathered together to do the soundtrack (a.k.a. The Backbeat Band) had a difficult task of reproducing the early Beatles’ raw rocknroll sound. Of course, they did it superbly, and the soundtrack itself was actually received better than the movie! So, here’s Mr Mike Mills, in the stellar company of Dave Pirner, Thurston Moore, Greg Dulli, Don Flemyng and Dave Grohl! Hope you like the video, and many thanks to Kirsten who has sent me literally thousands of gorgeous screencaps, some of which I used for this video.

Stay tuned, and perhaps later we’ll be able to post the new video for “Mine Smell Like Honey” as well!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

UPDATE: And finally, here’s the very first official video for “Mine Smell Like Honey”, the first single (U.S. only) from Collapse Into Now. Lol, it’s a weird video, to say the least. I strongly object to the fact that it is like the video for “Animal” i.e. completely Stipe-centric, while the rest of the band is nowhere to be seen. Boo!!! Anyway, click on the link above to watch the video – it should work in the U.K. and possibly the rest of the world. Meanwhile the U.S. fans should use the AOL link.

Phew! If you thought that the video was weird, here’s Mike’s explanation re: what the hell they were thinking about, courtesy of Spinner:

R.E.M. are not just Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, they’re also are one of the most successful video acts of all time, with clips like ‘Everybody Hurts,’ ‘Nightswimming’ and ‘Losing My Religion’ earning them the MTV Video Vangaurd Lifetime Achievement Award.

As bassist Mike Mills tells Spinner, videos have always been important to the group. “We figured if you were going to do them, you might as well do them well,” Mills says. “We’re also lucky in that Michael [Stipe] has a great visual sensitivity. He’s really good with anything in the visual art world, so we started out ahead of the game.”

Their latest visual opus is no exception. Directed by Dominic DeJoseph, the clip for ‘Mine Smell Like Honey,’ the lead single from the forthcoming ‘Collapse Into Now’ album, is an homage to one of the film industry’s all-time greats. “With this one, it’s a reference to the old Buster Keaton silent film kind of days of pratfalls and just watching people look like they’re getting hurt when they’re really not,” Mills says.

Where did the concept come from? “There’s a lot going on in that song,” he says. “It’s got a lot of propulsion and moving forward and so I think the idea of movement is what contributed to that video being like it is.”

While the new album has fans extremely excited, R.E.M recently announced they wouldn’t tour in support of the record. “We’ve made an album that we really love and I think it can sink or swim on its own, so I think we probably won’t be doing any shows at all,” Mills says. “We don’t have any planned at this point.”

“We’re doing a bunch of videos for this record and they’ll be non-standard; they won’t be like the videos you used to see on MTV,” he adds. “We had dinner with several of the guys who are making videos for this record and they were excited about it. I don’t want to be the spokesman for their ideas; I’d rather wait for their videos to come out and let you see what they were thinking. But I know they’re all talented guys and we’re going to have fun with it.”

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17 Responses to “Happy Anniversary MMT! – UPDATED with “Mine Smell Like Honey” video!”

  1. Linda Says:

    Well donehappyThe website is wonderful and the video is great. Through the years with Mike.I have enjoyed navigating my way through it. I hope Mr. Mills has seen the site and knows how much he is valued by the R.E.M community. And a very Happy Birthday to you and Elena. All the best.xoxoxoxox

  2. Ivana Says:

    Thanks Linda! Gotta admit that I’m a better videomaker than Dominic DeJoseph – this video for MSLH is totally random. thumbs down

  3. Linda Says:

    LOL. You DO make great videos…..MSLH…it’s an interesting video. Made me chuckle. Pretty impressive physicality for a 51 year old guy.laughing I get the Buster Keaton imagery,but will have to watch again to see if I get more out of it. As far as being Stipe-centric, I recall Peter and Mike saying they like the idea of videos as long as they don’t have to be in them…..laughing) Let’s hope they have changed their minds for the rest of the vids. Always like to see M.M.’s smiling face…though I do have to admit, Stipe’s eyes are a stand-out in the video!

    Just got the special edition of “Reveal” today ( with the book of photography and lyrics). Thanks to Jeff at athensmusic.net, who tracked it down for me, as it is out of print! I will once again pour a glass of chardonnay, listen and read along tonight. AHHHHH Glorious nights outside on the lanai in Floridalaughing

  4. Linda Says:

    By the way…..where do you get all of those great emoticons you use????????

  5. Ivana Says:

    Here: http://messenger.yahoo.com/features/emoticons/ – aren’t they great? cowboy

  6. Linda Says:

    Thanks youthumbs up

  7. Linda Says:

    Love them

    big hug

  8. Auctioneer Says:

    Happy belated birthday, Ivana and Elena! Sorry I wasn’t able to post yesterday – busy day, as always. happy

    I’m writing this at school, so I can’t watch the MSLH video… but judging by the comments here, it sounds pretty awesome.

    Have a great day, everyone! Hope this next year on Mike Mills Tribute will be as prosperous as the one that has just passed us by. big grin

    Yours truly,

  9. Dol Says:

    I finally saw the video. What can I say. Nothing. no talking
    My high expectations for the video went up in smoke.
    I don’t like the videos that focused only on Stipe, so…

  10. Ivana Says:

    Exactly Dol, you read my mind! I mean, R.E.M. are an effin’ BAND, not Stipe’s supporting musicians, and I want them to be both SEEN and heard!

    Oh, and thank you everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes! As for this website, things can only get bigger and better. winking

  11. Linda Says:

    Watched the video again……..eh.phbbbbt Just so so. I understand the whole idea of movement as per Mike’s interview, but I don’t think it will win them any fans or air play ( not that they care that much about that). I hope the rest of the videos are better than this one. Interesting that they are so focussed on video as opposed to touring……confused

  12. Linda Says:

    OOPS…forgot to say, there are fun things in the video, I am just not convinced it will be well-received ( methinks a little too “artsy” Ivana??)happy

  13. Auctioneer Says:

    I agree with Linda. We all know Michael comes from an art school background – heaven knows he’s made some pretty strange films and artwork (like that YouTube video he made with loads of people holding a small object – seriously, why?), so I guess it makes sense that he would hire somebody of a similar… mindset.

    Not to belittle him or anything, but sometimes ‘alternative’ just isn’t what gets the fans excited. Personally, I’d like to see something akin to “Near Wild Heaven” in terms of music videos. Seeing Mike Mills smiling the way he does is reward enough! happy

  14. Auctioneer Says:

    Oh, and Ivana, I sent you a friend request on Facebook. happy

  15. Ivana Says:

    Thanks, I’ll accept it pronto!

    My basic concern with this video is that it won’t win R.E.M. any new fans. I mean, they aren’t touring to promote CIN, so one would expect them to at least come up with some accessible videos. Lol you’ll find it on our “quotes” page here that Mills was once asked what is the idea behind R.E.M.’s videos, and he quipped that “the idea behind the videos is to sell more records” rolling on the floor Well with this video they aren’t gonna fulfill that goal. Just my opinion of course.

  16. Auctioneer Says:

    I’m not one to use chatspeak, but I LOL’ed at Mills’ comment. So wandering round a farm and pointing at chickens sells records? big grin Ah, 1984…

  17. Ivana Says:

    Actually if I remember correctly he said that in the early 1990s, when they were making those really commercial videos, winning MTV awards etc. Even then, Mike and Peter were like: we put Michael in charge of videos because he loves videos and the rest of us can’t bother. happy

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