Michael Stipe shares more details about his local past
R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe - Image via Wikipedia
Interview Magazine recently published an interview with Michael Stipe where the R.E.M. singer gives details about his time living in the St. Louis area, buying Patti Smith's album Horses, and his move to Georgia to follow his parents after the money ran out trying to stick in the late 1970s punk scene in St. Louis. The interview is choppy at times, but Stipe gives some interesting details about his life at various points - even details regarding song lyrics.
As a fellow graduate of Collinsville High School myself I used to love stories that my chemistry teacher, Mrs. Enoch, used to tell about having Stipe in class earlier in her career. You can see his senior picture inside the booklet for the R.E.M. compilation album from I.R.S., Eponymous covered with the words "They airbrushed my face" a nod to his teenage acne.
Of course a few facts were wrong in the interview and Stipe may have gotten them wrong himself. Stipe attended Southern Illnois University at Edwardsville (again I'm alum) which is part of the same system as Southern Illnois University at Carbondale. The University of Illinois has multiple campuses in other cities notably Chicago and Springfield, with the main U of I campus in Urbana-Champaign, of course.
I'm pretty sure that Stipe didn't spend too much time in East St. Louis as a teenager, but Collinsville is just up the road and he was likely just speaking in general terms. See a previous post for a video of Stipe hanging out with friends in U-City about to see Rocky Horror Picture Show.