flickr/vipa R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe didn't know Peter Buck's first name for quite a while.
This week, R.E.M. put out a massive, six-DVD box set called REMTV, the latest in a steady stream of archival releases the band has offered fans since "calling it a day" in 2011. It includes the 110-minute documentary R.E.M. by MTV, which is the first film to tell the entire story of a group of Athens, Georgia 20-somethings who started as a party band and finished as one of the most revered groups in music history.
Using archival interviews and live clips instead of a narrator, it's a linear trip through this classic "local boys make good" tale that, despite a lack of hardcore drugs and inter-band lawsuits, should have any music fan on the edge of his/her seat.
I have read six books about R.E.M., listened to every song available from the band and, on a recent trip to Winnipeg, dropped my grocery money for the week on a box of magazines that featured R.E.M. on the cover. Going into REMTV, I thought I had an Encyclopedia Brittanica-level knowledge of the band, but perhaps I was more like a Wikipedia page that hasn't been updated in a few months. Here's a list of 10 things I learned watching the new R.E.M. documentary.More »