IN 1987, R.E.M. were the perfect band in the world for me. But perfect is a fault, and before I turned 20 I could hardly care less what they did next. But for that one brief period of teenage me there was a band whose lyrics inspired and who music cheered me up.
Back in 1986 even Michael Stipe was young. And when he sang Just a Touch at the RDS, Dublin in 1989, I like the thousands who witnessed his suit ridden, head shaved, Peter Garrett beating crazy dancing thought we were young forever too.
But no, we grew up to be Shiny Happy People and made Everybody Hurt. Or at least the fans who remembered tunes inspired by tours in the back of vans got hurt.
Who knew in 1988 as I celebrated success of my favourite band by explaining them to bewildered fellow teenagers more into the top of the pops of the day that within 15 years, I’d be the one bewildered in conversation by their “new” fans. Not knowing one song they’d released in 5 years and not remembering more than one from the previous 5.
But this isn’t about criticising my one time Favourite band, but to celebrate those years when they were my Beatles and my Stones.
Thanks for the 80’s chaps, you made some of my teenage years worthwhile. And you still have two of the best albums ever recorded.