Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 24: R.E.M. and Feeling All College-y

RNRHS 24 comes from Greg Humphreys, local NC musician extraordinaire and unfairly talented guy (I’m sure it seems fair to him, but to the rest of us…sheesh).  It’s only a matter of time before somebody names him the honorary Prince of Orange County.  Greg has brought us some cool memories, including one about the elusive old-school R.E.M. t-shirt.  Many people who have done this blog questionnaire have either mourned the loss of am R.E.M. shirt or bragged that they still have theirs. Greg made some ill-advised alterations to his, but I’ll have to let him tell you about that.  For as much as I loved R.E.M., I don’t think I ever had one of their shirts.  Instead, I took a beat-up jean jacket and drew the cover of Chronic Town on the back with a Sharpie.  I did a damn good job, if I do say so myself.  Peter Buck even signed it when they were in Minneapolis the first time I saw them.  My husband, Steve, just found an original copy of Chronic Town on vinyl and we were listening to it last night–if ever a collection of songs was meant to be enjoyed with the pops and scratches, it’s that one. Greg mentions here that going to see R.E.M. made him feel like he was in college.  I remember feeling the same way, their music made it seem like we were older and cooler, at a time when that was what we all desperately hoped to be.

Greg Humphreys

RJR High School, Winston-Salem, NC, Class of ’85, Currently: Musician / Singer-songwriter / Performer / Producer

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: I’ve got a few, so i’ll list them with an associated memory.

U2. Our high school band The Trash (Goode, Taylor, myself, Higginbotham) played almost the entirety of their “Under a Blood Red Sky” live EP. Not well, exactly, but often and with gusto.

Run-DMC. rockin’ ‘Hard Times’ loudly in Doernberg’s Volare, interior ceiling upholstery flapping in the breeze.

Boston. watching friends play air guitar to ‘Peace of Mind’… I’ll leave the rest of the story untold so as not to humiliate myself and others.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: R.E.M. Reckoning tour T-shirt. Got it at the Duke Chapel concert I went to with Phil Morrison. Ended up cutting out the sleeves… shouldn’t have done that.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Easy target, but I hated Information Society. Maybe the worst of ’80s pop in one band. Blech. I have to admit I never really liked Motley Crue or Hair Metal bands like Poison… just didn’t think the songs were that good.

Best show or concert you saw in high school:  Again, hard to pick one, so I’ll give a quick list. Forgive me if any details are wrong, my memory is bad.

Stray Cats at Wait Chapel. Hooper in a white Panama Jack suit with straw hat and floral shirt. The Busboys opened and killed it.

R.E.M. at Duke Chapel. Sitting with the college kids in the balcony, feeling all college-y. Did Stipe do an acapella version of ‘Moon River’ ? I can’t remember. Holsapple-led dBs opened.

Fresh Festival at Greensboro Coliseum. Run-DMC, Grandmaster Flash, Fat Boys, Whoodini. The dancers from ‘Electric Boogaloo Breakin’ 2′ performed in a boxing ring in the middle of the floor between sets. Went with Phil and Jon Healey.

The Police at Greensboro Coliseum. Syncronicity tour. Rag outfits, Trampolines. Pure-T awesomeness.

Big Country at Wait Chapel. How I loved their huge Scottish rock anthems! Went with Trash drummer Greg Taylor. Later tried to replicate “In a Big Country” many times; failed. Wiretrain opened. RIP Stuart Adamson.

The Right Profile / The dBs / Let’s Active at Reynolds Auditorium. Phil put this concert together as a benefit for a Key Club food drive. We got to hang out with Holsapple, Dixon, Easter et al backstage and felt like the coolest kids ever.

4 Comments on “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 24: R.E.M. and Feeling All College-y

  1. >Ended up cutting out the sleeves… shouldn’t have done that.

    Funny, I almost mentioned this myself – I cut out the sleeves of my U2 tour shirt. I thought it would fit me a few more months!?!? Stupid…

    • I think it was more acceptable to cut the sleeves out of a U2 shirt. Wasn’t that one of Bono’s favorite past times?

  2. KEY CLUB FOOD DRIVE? That is the coolest thing I have ever heard associated with Key Club.

  3. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get a FREE eBook sampler of Karen's bestselling books.