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My Life In Music: Michael Stipe

Photo By Alexei Hay

As an army brat bouncing around the country, Michael Stipefound inspiration in everything from the Beatles singing “Michelle” toTammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and Roger Miller’s “King of the Road,”singles given to Stipe and his sisters by a kindly record-shop owner.Then he heard Patti Smith and everything changed. As R.E.M. head backto the studio to record a new album due out this fall, Stipe stopped toimpart some wisdom culled from a quarter-century lived a month ahead ofthe curve.