1. crispy says

    Michael Stipe was my teenage hero. He was instrumental in my coming out process. Along with Robert Smith, he was the celebrity I most wanted to meet.

    And then I did meet him about 4 years ago backstage before a concert in Atlanta. He’s a giant douche. My inner-teenager curled up in a ball and weeped.

  2. crispy says

    He asked me what I wanted him to autograph. When I told him I just wanted to say hello (I’m not an autograph person), he waved me on my way.

    We were supposed to be best friends, dammit!

  3. mw1126 says

    In my opinion, it’s his beard that’s making him look a little older than he actually is. I think shaving it would shave about 10 years from his appearance.

  4. peterparker says

    @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.

  5. crispy says

    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.

  6. alguien says

    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.

  7. TANK says

    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.

  8. JoeBlow says

    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!

  9. crispy says

    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.

  10. Walter says

    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.

  11. TANK says

    Crispy, that was addressed to peepee, but it could have been addressed to you. Did you just relegate to some backup singer…not even? DO YOU KNOW HOW I USED TO BE?!

  12. Marie says

    First off, Happy Birthday to Michael! I got really excited today when I remembered it’s his big 50!
    Secondly, I have a lot of friends in the service industry who try to tell me stories about how rude Stipe is to servers, etc. I try to push it away & defend him a lot but there’s a voice in the back of my head that knows they’re not lying. I met him in 1999 & he was nice but not super nice &, yes a bit diva-ish & arrogant, but he hugged me & it was one of my greatest moments. It obviously meant nothing to him but I’m OK with that. I would be bummed if he treated me like a douche bag or acted that way around me. It’s just sad to see your hero’s evil side. But, until I truly experience it first hand (and I hope I never do) I’m gonna defend him, or at least his music because it really is great & it really did save my life as a kid.
    Thirdly, that first pic was airbrushed. His skin was not that nice. It’s on the inside the Eponymous record sleeve. Still adorable but not like a baby’s butt. And, hey, I don’t care how old he gets I still think he’s uber hot! 😉
    Happy B-day, Stipey. Please stop being a diva-greedy-douche-bag so I can stop being forced to defend you! Be sweet like the other bald singer, Moby :) xxo

  13. sonofabutch says

    …very, very lovely top photo…with the advent of soft lighting and mega airbrushing…we all know MS uses the quick, sharp wit and brusk, harsh manner largely to defend the immense insecurity and shyness he has had not much choice but to endure in dealing with being the reluctant focal point of the white hot fame of rock stardom…that, AND life-long problem skin, most likely the reason for the grizzly beard these days…Oh, and please, before anyone comes for my wig, I am not trying to be mean, I’m just saying…Happy 50th MS…!

    *turns up the volume as “Radio Free Europe” blasts*

  14. crispy says

    Dang, Tank. I thought Peepee was your new pet name for me. Now I has a sad.

    You can be the lead singer in our Miley Cyrus viral video… but you have to wear the lime green sarong.

  15. adam says

    I’ve known several people who’ve been at private parties with him (i.e., not “business events”) and have said michael stipe is a perfectly kind person and fascinating conversationalist. Of course, it always seems to involve the sharing of a joint. So who knows. He’s still one of my heroes.

  16. Jerry says

    He has a certain John Malkovich fuckability now. I like that. And since I’m not looking to marry him, he can be as much of a douche as he wants to be. Or not.

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