Interviews – Video: Years 1983-1989

R.E.M. – David Letterman Show, NBC Studios, New York, 6 October 1983

The band’s first ever appearance on national television. David Letterman has a laugh with Peter Buck and Mike Mills (while the shrinking violet Michael Stipe is hiding in the background), then the band performs “South Central Rain” which at that time was yet to be named and lacked the guitar intro.

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R.E.M. – Livewire Show, Nickelodeon TV Studio, New York, 30 October 1983

Another TV appearance, filmed a few weeks after Letterman. Being a Nickelodeon show, Livewire was aimed at very young audiences, and the kids in the studio actually get to interview the band! (And one of the kids turned out to be Adam Horowitz, the future Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys fame.) The video quality is quite poor, but you can at least hear clearly what’s being said. Peter talks more than his three bandmates combined!

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R.E.M. – The Cutting Edge, IRS Studio, Los Angeles, 14 June 1984

These are two short excerpts from IRS’s Cutting Edge show, which was broadcast on MTV on 29 July 1984. The almost-complete footage was released on DVD in 2006 as a part of the amazing video collection R.E.M. – When the Light is Mine… The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 – if you haven’t bought this DVD yet, you are missing a lot! Mike Mills and Peter Buck were interviewed together, and I have transcribed the entire interview for your reading pleasure here.

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~ ~ ~ PART 2 ~ ~ ~

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Mike Mills and Peter Buck – Canadian Promo Tour for Document, Toronto, 20 April 1987

These clips were when Peter and Mike were sent to Canada to promote their latest offering Document. Someone had an idea that maybe their promotional chores would be a bit less dull if they were doing them on a boat!

~ ~ ~ Cruising With R.E.M., Canadian TV 4 – PART 1 ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~ Cruising With R.E.M., Canadian TV 4 – PART 2 ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~ The New Music: R.E.M. – Canadian TV Profile ~ ~ ~

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R.E.M. – WEA Presentation, Taylor Grady House, Athens GA, 13 October 1988

This was a live satelite broadcast done after the band had just completed their sixth (and the first Warner Brothers) album, Green, and was preparing for its release. I have edited out the music videos and only left the actual presentation: the band members are introduced by Lenny Waronker, who was the president of Warner Bros. Music at the time, and the clip also features R.E.M.’s management and office crew, their long time producer Scott Litt, and others.

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R.E.M. – Arsenio Hall Show, Los Angeles, 17 October 1989

R.E.M. (+ Peter Holsapple) perform an incredibly fast version of “Stand”, then the two Michaels talk some serious stuff with Arsenio and Mike gives him Dominique Wilkins’s “Atlanta Hawks” top, and then they play “Get Up”. Legend has it that, back in 1989, Mike had no idea that this song was actually about him!
NOTE: the Youtube clip is a bit wonky, the visuals and sound don’t exactly match, but it’s great fun nevertheless.

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