R. E. M. traveled to Bloomington, Indiana, in 1986 to record the music that became Lifes Rich Pageant. For rock fans in that college town, it was major cultural event to have their heroes sharing the same sidewalks with them. Last year, some of them were happy to reminisce about it for an article published online by Indiana Public Media.
“Those were dark years on the radio, as far as I was concerned,” said Jeanne-Marie Grenier, an Indiana University fine-arts major at the time. “It was the Huey Lewis era. R.E.M. was intellectual, referential and romantic.”
“In Reagan’s America, R.E.M. were alternative before alternative was born, and for closeted art students, anti-jocks, upper middle class white kids who couldn’t get into metal..., and other outsiders, R.E.M. somehow seemed to open a door to a new way to be,” says Lawrence Wells, another fine-arts student of that era.
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Adapted from "Talk About The Pageant: When R.E.M. Came To Bloomington in 1986" by David Johnson, IndianaPublicMedia.org.