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R.E.M. - Maxwell’s, Hoboken, New Jersey

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1. Ages Of You
2. Catapult
3. Shaking Through
4. Gardening At Night
5. 9-9
6. Wind Out
7. Laughing
8. Romance
9. Sitting Still
10. Pretty Persuasion
11. Do You Remember?
12. 1,000,000
13. Wolves, Lower
14. Radio Free Europe

Encore with Richard Barone

15. King Of The Road
16. There She Goes Again
17. Hunting
18. Stumble

Berry, Buck, Mills & Stipe

Sometimes a bit of pressure is the right medicine and the pesky folks who urged me to post this tape got the job done. I’ve reduced the recording to mono; the other microphone went into antennae mode on this night and I didn’t think any of you would want me to preserve the radio broadcast for “historic purposes.” I didn’t think this tape was going to be good enough to share, but I’ve enjoyed the digital transfer a couple times now.

This was R.E.M.’s first show at Maxwell’s, but apparently they’d played in NYC the previous summer at The Ritz and the Mudd Club. There was quite a buzz about them in the rock underground by early-‘82. R.E.M. are a great bunch of guys, they were already friends with Hoboken’s Bongos and they accepted an immediate welcome as honorary citizens of Maxwell’s. They played at Jim Fouratt’s Danceteria a few nights after this show and I think he was also trying to orchestrate a record deal with RCA… they recorded some demos the following week produced by Kurt Munkacsi. Jim pressed me to make a copy of this tape and I delivered it the next day. The stereo version sounded really crappy and I’m not sure what he wanted it for … maybe to familiarize the demo producer with their repertoire.

The three R.E.M. shows I taped at Maxwell’s are all currently posted here on Dime and it’s interesting to listen to their evolution over fifteen months from 01/82 > 11/82 > 04/83. They tighten-up considerably and the audience reaction dials-up several levels. The only songs familiar to the crowd this night were Radio Free Europe and Sitting Still from the Hib-Tone single, which was in heavy rotation on the jukebox up front as well as the wheels of steel in the back room. The band was great, but the reaction to a lot of the songs was politely enthusiastic, the kind of applause many bands received. I’m sure there were people in the room that night who don’t remember seeing R.E.M. back in 1982 today. The group’s stock rose considerably with the release of Chronic Town and you can hear the enthusiasm that greets those songs on the other two recordings.

The artwork in this set is a flyer that I put together for the show… something I did when I was excited about an upcoming gig. I’d tape them up around Maxwell’s and maybe pop over to the local barber shop and liquor store to put one in their windows. I did it during my lunch hour... a 25-minute Xerox improvisation that I’ve always liked.

I hope you enjoy the recording. Share freely and be polite about it… R.E.M. are a well-mannered bunch.

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