February 15, 2023
All tracks by R.E.M. from the 2009 reissue of Reckoning, released on I.R.S. Records, on the Live At The Aragon Ballroom (Chicago IL, July 7, 1984) disc.
- “Letter Never Sent”
- “7 Chinese Bros.”
- “Little America”
Patrick shares the story of when R.E.M. went on a promo tour for their 1984 recording Reckoning.
For your viewing pleasure…
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One Reply to “Episode 1551: Remembering R.E.M.’s Little America Tour”
I saw that tour twice in Hartford, Connecticut and New York City. August 1984. My friend wrote for our college newspaper and got an interview with them scheduled to take place before the Hartford show. I was asked to join (I had a car and was an early R.E.M. adopter– I saw them at the opening party for Danceteria in New York before they were signed and when only the Radio Free Europe single was out). We drove up from New York city and got caught in Friday rush hour traffic. This was before cell phones and so at some point we got off the highway to call the club to say we would not make the appointed time. Road manager Geoff Trump handled that well, saying that we might be able to fit it in later. We got to the club in time to see Dream Syndicate, who were maybe the loudest band I’d ever seen at that point. At some point several songs into Dream Syndicate’s set, Geoff Trump found us and brought us out to R.E.M.’s bus to meet Bill Berry. We interviewed Bill Berry for probably forty minutes– and we were told several times that Bill might have to leave because the show was coming up (by both Bill and Geoff Trump). Geoff came to get Bill at least twice and Bill told him to come back later because he was having a good time talking with us. Finally, it was time to go onstage and we all left the bus, Bill walked onto the stage and we walked into the audience and the show began a minute or so later. It was outstanding. After the show Bill invited us to come to the Soundcheck the next day at the Beacon Theater in New York– we already had fifth row tickets for that show. So we went to soundcheck, there were two other “civilians” there along with the road crew and us, and R.E.M. played Archie Bell and the Drells’ “Tighten Up” in sound check. I exchanged a few sentences with Michael Stipe that afternoon. Because of the volume the night before, I insisted that my crew go to the drugstore and buy ear plugs. We were glad we did– that was the first show at which I ever wore ear plugs and I’ve been wearing them ever since, a valuable lesson. Beacon Theater show was outstanding. Fun memories of a great and exciting weekend!