Quotable — Michael Stipe

by M.C. Antil on January 5, 2012

A while ago, former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe was quoted as saying the Beatles had no influence on him.  In fact, he went as far as calling the Fab Four’s music, “elevator music.”

Stipe recently sat down with Andrew Goldman for the New York Times Magazine Q&A, and flushed out his “elevator music” comment further, while trying to give it some context.  He also said he’s since sat down with Yoko Ono and Sean and Julian Lennon, who told him, “It’s OK, we understand.”

But one Stipe comment in that interview, at least for me, pointed to the cultural, musical and chronological fine lines that often existed in America when he was growing up.  He told Goldman, “The point I was trying to make was that I was three years too young for them.  I grew up in an era where the Banana Splits, the Archies and the Monkees were the music I listened to.  The Beatles were the music that was playing in the background.”

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