Leo, Sagittarius, Capricorn and Mills Ltd.

From the archives, an unpublished photo of R.E.M. at a record signing taken in 1985. "Fables" was out and Wendell Gee was reared to give respect so I went and waited. I had recently tapped into Mel Torme because Stipe had mentioned him in an article. I also had a live bootleg tape my friend Craig had given me of an Atlanta show where the band had played “California Dreamin'.” So when I got to Stipe, I asked him if he was taking requests for the show that night and suggested “California Dreamin',” to which he replied, “That’d be kind of obvious, wouldn’t it?” Ouch. Not wanting to be left crestfallen in front of one of my musical heroes, I came back with a quick rejoinder: “Okay, how about some Mel Torme?” And he says, “Who’s Mel Torme?” Double ouch! (It was many years later before I was finally able to delve into the cue of his Ignatz tattoo and allow myself to fully enjoy the work of George Herriman.) On the plus side, he signed my "Murmur" and "Fables" posters, and on the bottom of the latter he marked up the IRS label mascot and wrote “G-Men Alive,” a scrawl I thought was so cool that for many years afterwards I wanted to use it for a band name.

And yes, I did look up birthdates and astrological signs to come up accurate in the Monkees album takeoff of today’s title, and providence provided quite a match.

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