Michael Stipe is a sort of musical hero to me. His voice was of major help during those dreaded junior high school days. His songs became more than anthems to me. I understood what a musician and a band could mean to you at a certain crucial time for a young teenager.
Upon diving into their influences and what inspired them to be them I found out that his main inspiration was Patti Smith. She was his north star. She was an influence and an inspiration and a way through. He himself became an inspiration to Thom Yorke during the dreaded OK Computer tour.
Michael Stipe’s lyrics and music and voice and persona was/is still an inspiration and a musical hero. His portrait is hanging in the wall of my mind the same way that Adam in Only Lovers Left Alive, d. Jim Jarmusch, has a wall of all his heroes.
Here is one of his favorite songs from the R.E.M catalogue.
Words by Alfredo Tellez and Edith Morales.