Michael Stipe

This is a drawing of Micheal Stipe from the band REM that I drew on my Remarkable e-ink tablet. There’s a filter effect added to make the vignette.

I first heard REM in late 1983 early 1984, a song called Radio Free Europe, only I didn’t know it was them (where was Shazam when I needed it) until later in 1984 when I heard So. Central Rain and put 2+2 together. What a pair of amazing songs! I bought their second album Reckoning when it came out, and like everyone else, pondered what Stipe was singing about. Was he using real words? I had no idea, but those tunes, those chiming guitars, the rhythms! For a few years REM were my favourite band. I saw them twice at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool in 1984 and 1985. The second time I had toothache and everytime the bass drum kicked I was in agony.

The last album I bought was Automatic for the People, and even though I know it is filled with beautiful music, it didn’t do it for me. Then again, I went off most music during the early 90s and it took me a while to love again. Those first few REM albums, I truly loved.