Flashback Friday (part 82) - R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe Tried to Poke Me in the Eye

September 23, 2011

I used to win a lot of things off the radio. I've mentioned before all the free concerts I've been to including meeting Duran Duran. Simon LeBon had a thing for me. Plus there is the time that Dave Matthews smooched me on the lips.

In October 1998, I had been listening to the radio and heard my name and I had 10 minutes to call back to win $100. Since I was freshly out of college, living in my own apartment near the beach, I really needed the beer money. I was entered to win a larger prize and I was so distracted by the $100 I didn't pay much attention to the larger price announcement.

A week later I received a call from the radio station, I had won a trip for two to New York City to see R.E.M. on VH1 Storytellers.

I had just met Tim so he wasn't an option so I called up my best friend CC who was living in Annapolis and she drove down to fly with me to the Big Apple.

As we're approaching the pre-9/11 security, we read the sign that said NO WEAPONS, NO KNIVES, NO JOKES! I quickly looked at CC and said, "Quickly, so there was a priest, rabbi and a minister in a rowboat...." Once our joke was over, we proceeded through security.

My friend for life Amy (left) had just moved to NYC so she was our self-appointed tour guide.

Her parents and brother were in town visiting as well. We went to the top of the Empire State Building.

Then to the top of the World Trade Center.
View from the top of the World Trade Center
Her dad convinced me that in the group picture before going to the top we should all give "The Bird."
I was the only one who did but there is a tall fatherly figure who was definitely laughing in our group photo.

Amy took us to the bar McSorley's (est. 1854) where only two types of beers are served, light or dark.

Our hotel was across from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and when we came back that night around 3 a.m., there was a film crew setting up shots. We stuck around long enough to see Kevin Costner filming what we later learned was For Love of the Game. For those who are wondering, the crew were not pleased with two young ladies trying to be "extras" in the background even though we offered to work for free. I blame the light beer.

On the afternoon of the taping, CC and I cruised through Time Square to check another box in our must see box of New York City.
Deb in Times Square - October 1998
Deb and CC in NYC before seeing R.E.M. on VH1 Storytellers - October 1998
We were very excited to see R.E.M. and there was no seating assignment on our tickets. The reason being is that the producers put the thinner, pretty people in front. This explains why we were in the front row. There were two rows of chairs before the track for the cameras and then the rest of the fans were behind those. At one point the director told us, you need to smile, look alert and dance if you can because you're going to be in numerous shots. 

He was right.

That's me on the far left.

For Man on the Moon, arguably, one of the most signature R.E.M. songs behind Losing My Religion, you can see me and my big doom head in numerous shots.

It was hard to find a copy of this show but to see the whole thing, start at the 6:56 mark. I am wearing jeans, turtleneck and a light brown jacket.

Please ignore the dancing.

Or rather, the attempt at dancing.

Michael Stipe trying to poke me in the eye.

And the leg tapping to the beat.

I did smile a lot though, as promised. You just can't tell with my big head in the shot.

Here is the whole video. If you want to see my star performance, start the video at minute 5:20.

I was surprised to hear that after 31 years of making music together, R.E.M. has broken up. I was even more surprised to realize they were still together.

Now it's your turn.

Find an old picture like Cathy Has Antsy Pants and share a story about it and then email me so I can add a link. Flashback Friday has no real rules other than to have fun.


4 Comment:

Snappy Di September 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM  

Absolutely loved this video and you starring in it! I for one loved R.E.M. and consider so many of their songs now to be classics...Thanks for sharing this!

Cathy September 23, 2011 at 10:49 AM  

That's pretty badass. I saw you rocking out at the 8 minute mark!

They've been making music for as long as I've been alive. That's crazy. I think they earned this retirement!

I posted my own flashback, it's not nearly as star-studded as yours. http://ow.ly/6CV2d

The Zadge September 23, 2011 at 11:49 AM  

WOW! REM was THE defining band during my UVa years 1982 - 1986. I think I listened to "Murmur" over 10,000 times.

blueviolet September 23, 2011 at 4:37 PM  

This story was way too fun! You were really into it too! Fun that you had the REM experience and the movie set experience in the same trip.

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