Tuesday, March 14, 2006

(Don't Go Back To) Collapsing Stars (continued)

Spring Break Update #2

UK author Rob Jovanovic was kind enough (or sufficiently masochistic) to email yesterday with a short list of follow-up questions for the Michael Stipe tome he's currently penning.

In the interests of vanit- er, journalistic transparency - we herewith present the complete transcript of our exchange. (Mr. Jovanovic's comments appear in bold.)

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hi tom

many thanks for your replies and the article link.

Hello Rob,

It's good to hear from you. I trust your research is going well.

There's a Nest (adj.)/Boat Of gig chronology within the TLASILA web; if you should require a sickening level of detail, that's the place to revel in it.

On to your queries:

do you have any photos that we could use of the various line ups that included stipe?

Oddly enough, we were unconcerned with photographic documentation. The only live photos that I know to exist were taken by Linda Hopper at a September 22, 1981 performance at the Night Gallery. The four images are rather indistinct... We never formally posed for publicity photos.

Mike Green and Michael Stipe devised a choreographic routine for the evening, by the way, and I recall the former enacting a sort of terpsichorean spasm / modified dervish whirl.

do you have any further info on the forthcoming 2CD set which i can include in the book, any chance of a promo?

I’m fairly certain the compilation will be titled Mix Pentecost(e), and comprise recordings made from 1979-1983. It will most likely begin with the Prepared Party experiments, and end with a piece Carol Levy and I created a few weeks before her death. I’m still sorting through the tapes – there’s 70 hours of material from which to choose... The Smack Shire will be releasing the two-disc set.

when you saw r.e.m. did you tell stipe what you thought of them?

Yes. I asked him if he was kidding, and explained to him that the world didn’t really need a group which fused Dr. Hook and The Yachts.



("There was a lingering odour of soap..." The mathematics of oblivion, cicra 1981. Image TS.)

I then asked Michael if wouldn’t rather prefer to ditch R.E.M. for Boat Of.

His riposte: Are you kidding?

Oh, we were such scamps back in the 1780s…

many thanks again

rob

It was my pleasure, Rob. Thanks again for your interest and, one presumes, good humor.

Sincerely,

Tom

I Only Swallowed 31 Bags...

(Amended 8:25 PM)

Spring Break Update #1:

I'm at Cyn's home in Atlanta; we're listening to Congolese icons Franco & OK Jazz and easing slowly into bed. Earlier, we enjoyed Ethiopian cuisine (at Meskerem) with my son Evan and his student nurse bride Dawn. Awesome to hang with them for an evening... Don Fleming rang just as Evan and Dawn were driving back to their hotel; he and AWK have been working daily twelve-hour shifts for more than a month on White Killer's forthcoming album. Nine of the fifteen songs planned for inclusion have apparently been completed, although none have as yet been mixed. (At least that's what I think Don said. There was a lot going on around me at the time...) We also spoke of the Voice's "Sylvestergate" debacle (it's telling that Doug Simmons was canned and Sylvie retained); DF and Andrew have been so busy in their studio bunker that they missed all news of the shitstorm which pummeled 36 Cooper Square... Hoping to get the Noon cover art and August tour itinerary squared away by the 24th. Or 27th.

Tomorrow, we breakfast with the kids, then hit the Georgia Aquarium later in the afternoon. They have an electric eel exhibit (true) and I'm dying for (ahem) agitation...

Apologies,

TS