Watch One of R.E.M.’s First Shows

Wuxtry Records
, where R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe met record store clerk Peter Buck in Athens, Georgia, is posting videos of early R.E.M. shows. The video below is from an R.E.M. show at The 688 Club opening for Joe “King” Carrasco in February 1981, which is eighteen months before the band released its first collection of songs on vinyl and two years before Murmur was released.

The video begins in the middle of R.E.M. covering Buddy Holly’s “Rave On” and ends with what later would be the band’s debut single, “Radio Free Europe.” Check it out. [2015 Update: The video from the 688 Club is no longer available, so below is the audio of “Radio Free Europe” from another 1981 show at Fridays’s in Greensboro, North Carolina on March 31, 1981.]

For more information on this 40-minute set and other videos, check out the Slicing Up Eyeballs website.

What do you think of the early R.E.M. performance? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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