Bob Ingrassia

My Days As An R.E.M. Fan Boy

September 22, 2011 · 2 Comments

It was late 1986 when my older sister, a cool college student, copied a cassette her friend had put together. It was a collection of R.E.M. songs, creatively titled “R.E.M of Sorts.” It had the Chronic Town EP, B-sides and bootlegs. It essentially was “Dead Letter Office” years before that compilation came out.

At the time, I was a big retro rocker. Beatles, Zep, CCR, etc. I often dissed New Wave. But something about the melodic jangle pop of R.E.M. hooked me. I bought previous R.E.M. records on vinyl. I tracked down a record store that stocked “Document” on the day it came out. Then I persuaded my brother to see R.E.M. at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul.

I even joined the R.E.M. fan club, a funny thing to think about in this era of social media.

Here are some relics from my fan boy days:

Envelope from the R.E.M. fan club. That's my University of Minnesota dorm address.



R.E.M. albums on vinyl

My R.E.M. records. Check out that picture disc. (NOTE: My version of "Life's Rich Pageant" was a newfangled "compact disc.")


R.E.M. Work Tour Promotional Photo

eBay gold?


R.E.M. Playlist

Looks like an authentic set list. Sent to me in a fan mailing.


I bought a numbered copy of this poster at some point for $50

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