John Giorno is one of my favourite people on earth and R.E.M. is one of my favourite bands so when I discovered that the last single by R.E.M. features John Giorno I had to share it.
John Giorno is an extraordinary person, as full of power and love as any poet alive. I’ve been lucky to enough to spend some time with him over the years and it is always a trip. Humble. Hard to the bone. Hilarious. He is one of a kind. He is a very spiritual being but I have heard he is ailing. Spare a prayer, or a poem, for this very good man. He’s done the same for you…
Also, I should mention in the context of this blog that John was one of the originators of peer-to-peer electronic media by inventing among other things the Dial-a-Poem project, and that he also ran one of the coolest record labels on the planet for many years, which was the first to release anything by Patti Smith, among other fine people.
And R.E.M., well sayonara to a fine rocknroll band. I first saw them in 1983 opening for the English Beat, then a year later caught them live in a school gym in Japan. Been a huge fan every since and I wish them well in their old age.
Please enjoy this new video, a tribute to John’s famous lead role as the sleeper in Andy Warhol’s film, Sleep. (Don’t miss the beautiful smile at the end of the R.E.M. video!)