REM, Van Halen, the Ronettes and Patti Smith
Images from usatoday.com, and dynimg.rte.ie
Contributed by Lezah Williamson
I've always had a real soft spot for REM. Not only do I really like their earlier work, there's a personal connection there as well - or, at least the second cousin of one.
You see, way back in the old days, before Dave and I even knew each other, he began writing an alternative music fanzine. He started this in high school with a friend, and it was actually quite successful - the Vancouver Sun newspaper did a full page feature on these two young school kids who were writing this 'zine. Dave and his friend did all sorts of interviews with some of the big alternative acts of the day - X, Black Flag, and the like.
One particularly memorable interview occurred when somehow, these two underage kids got smuggled into the back of The Commodore Ballroom for REM's sold out show - the was during The Reckoning tour. They ended up doing an interview with one of the band members in the bathroom of the Commodore, backstage. Fast forward twenty years, the there's Dave standing in line at Chapters on Robson in Vancouver, when he happens to notice that the guy in front of him in line is no other than the same REM band member he had interviewed, lo those many years ago. They struck up a conversation and it turns out both remember the interview - or rather, the situation - very clearly.
Hence my soft spot for the band. So I was very pleased to hear that REM, along with Patti Smith, the Ronettes, and Van Halen, were to be this year's inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place March 12 at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.