REM Secrets

For a long time, Michael Stipe, the singer for REM, had a reputation of being a grumpy person. Part of that perception is just because he’s such a serious guy.

But he admits that in the early days, he took a lot of drugs and drank a lot of beer. But in 1985, his depression morphed into a full-on nervous breakdown caused by something else. He was absolutely terrified that he was going to contract AIDs.

As a gay man at that time, he was afraid that ever sniffle and every touch of flu was going to lead to something awful. It wasn’t until 1987 when he was able to take an anonymous AIDS test that he could sleep at night.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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