Anniversary of R.E.M.'s First Gig
On this very day in 1980, R.E.M. played their first-ever concert at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Athens. That night they were still called Twisted Kites, the wonderfully incisive moniker R.E.M had not popped into their collective consciousness just yet.
Michael Stipe (vocals), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass) and Bill Berry (drums) lined up on stage to play music for the birthday party of Kathleen O'Brien, who at the time was the drummer's girlfriend. They gave the assembled students and partygoers over two hours of post-punk, cutting edge rock and roll.
Buck and Stipe had met through a mutual interest in music. Peter worked in a record store, Wuxtry, in Athens and the already colorful Stipe like to hang out there and discuss music. They had much in common, musically at least. When they hooked up with fellow University of Georgia students Mike Mills and Bill Berry, the band that would help rescue rock and roll from the synth invasion of the early '80s were ready to go. They rehearsed around town, wrote songs and finally, feeling ready to debut their music to a couple of hundred revelers, made their public debut
"It was really fun," Stipe told author Marcus Gray. "I don't remember the last half of it." Twisted Kite played for over two hours with a mix of original material and covers like the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" and Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner." more on this story
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