@Crispy: I went to school in Athens, GA during the early/middle period of R.E.M.'s fame and thus had many chances to observe and interact with Michael Stipe. I can *completely* attest to your experience that Stipe is a giant douche.
He was a huge, arrogant asshole back in the late 80's and early 90's at the peak of their fame. During that period, the reign of George Herbert Walker Bush and the dark days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Stipe gave an interview with The Advocate magazine. In the interview he denied that he was gay even though anyone who was paying even the least amount of attention knew that he was sucking every teenage (18+, I'm sure) cock presented to him.
And I suppose you could attribute such behavior to youth and sudden fame, however...
About 5 years ago, R.E.M. played The Hollywood Bowl here in L.A. Mike Mills (R.E.M.'s bassist) had given tickets to one of my best friends who used to date Mills. He also invited us to a private party the band was hosting after the show. Everyone at the party was either a friend or family member of the band, a musician who had played on stage with them that evening or an executive in the record industry. The party was held at a small private bar in Hollywood. When I walked in the first thing I noticed was a small stage with two sofas in the corner of the room which was surrounded by a velvet rope and had a sign that said "VIP Area". I assumed it was a holdover from another party. I was wrong. Mike Mills was circulating around the crowd saying hello to everyone. Pete Buck was not in attendance (he never goes to the parties after the show due to sobriety/recovery). And Michael Stipe was conspicuously absent. About 30 minutes after the room had filled up, I turned to see Michael Stipe walking into the room, flanked by two enormous bodyguards. As the bodyguards escorted him from the front door to the 'VIP Area', Stipe never looked at nor greeted a single person. He sat down on one of the sofas and was soon joined by 3 or 4 people. The bodyguards stationed themselves in front of the steps leading to the stage. And there Stipe sat for the next hour, talking to no one except the people that he had initially allowed on stage with him. When he left the party, he did so exactly as he arrived: flanked by bodyguards and interacting with none of the band's guests. It was the tackiest, most diva-like behavior I have ever witnessed. And it was also confirmation of what I had long heard back in Athens: that whenever the band toured they had two separate buses...one for Mike Mills, Pete Buck and Bill Berry...and another bus for Michael Stipe.
He is an insufferable douche.
Posted by: peterparker | Jan 4, 2010 3:33:19 PM
@PeterParker: Stipe certainly had the lips to suck all that teen dick.
Posted by: HW In SoCal | Jan 4, 2010 3:46:11 PM
Please, if you went from photo one to photo two you'd be a big douche too. Yes, everyone ages but some clearly age better than others.....
Posted by: Marty | Jan 4, 2010 3:50:10 PM
LOL! @ Peterparker. i read the first sentence and the last line and laughed...
Posted by: alex paris | Jan 4, 2010 3:55:18 PM
Peterparker, you've mentioned that Advocate article before. I've never been able to find that quote. Maybe it's just not online.
Regarding interviews about his sexuality, my own experience was that as a teen fan I read several interviews with him in which he claimed to be bisexual and/or of "fluid sexuality." Famously, he once said "Labels are for fast-food." When I was struggling with my longings for other guys, that idea really resonated with me. It enabled me to go from shuttering such feelings to embracing the possibility that I might not be straight. And that it was ok. For that, I'll always be grateful to Michael Stipe.
Too bad about him being a huge d-bag though.
Posted by: crispy | Jan 4, 2010 4:01:12 PM
like michael, i too am 50 today! i'd like to think my appearance is a little less weathered than his but he's still a hotty.
i always liked that i shared the same birth date & year with him.
Posted by: alguien | Jan 4, 2010 4:37:32 PM
Happy Birthday Alguien!
Posted by: Ricky | Jan 4, 2010 5:11:59 PM
Oh peepee, I'm so sorry to learn that michael stipe didn't fawn all over you at the event you described. Life's so hard, isn't it?
Anyway, put the crypt keeper back in his sarcophagus.
Posted by: TANK | Jan 4, 2010 6:40:39 PM
Yep those super douche rumors have been around since the 80’s. He certainly has gotten the face he deserves. Stipe reads Towleroad so “Neely O'Hara Jr.” is throwing things right NOW!
Posted by: JoeBlow | Jan 4, 2010 6:41:33 PM
God what an angel he was. No wonder the douchebag accusations, anyone that beautiful is going to get spoiled rotten.
Posted by: Tim | Jan 4, 2010 6:44:21 PM
If I had my own VIP area, and I wouldn't talk to none of you bitches, either.
Posted by: JeffRob | Jan 4, 2010 6:54:15 PM
If I had my own VIP area I wouldn't talk to none of you bitches, either.
is what i meant to say
Posted by: JeffRob | Jan 4, 2010 6:56:55 PM
LOL Tank. I assure you I got over it about 10 seconds later. And hey, there's still hope that Robert Smith and I are gonna be BFFs and make homemade Miley Cyrus videos together and become the first Youtube sensation of 2010. You can lipsynch the bridge. If you're nice.
Posted by: crispy | Jan 4, 2010 6:59:22 PM
SUCH NEGATIVE NELLIES ... Andy should REALLY turn off the comments. Yes he wants the hit money ... but it really brings down the quality of his blog with the repeat ugly commentary from the likes of those whose names are above and I will not repeat.
Sad. Otherwise a quality blog.
Posted by: Walter | Jan 4, 2010 8:05:44 PM
and now back the sweet genius Mr. Stipe --- Happy Birthday, thank you --- and you sure were a beautiful young boy ...