R.E.M. Goes on Lower East Side Wine Crawl, Performs for Lucky Few

Michael Stipe went on a magical mystery tour.
Michael Stipe went on a magical mystery tour. Photo: Patrick McMullan

Sure, U2 rode through Manhattan on a flatbed, but we find it way cooler that R.E.M. stopped into September Wines and two Lower East Side restaurants this Monday while filming a music video for their upcoming album. ’inoteca partner Ethan Richardson, who says Michael Stipe comes in now and then, tells us he fielded a call from a band rep asking for permission to film there. They ended up performing acoustic for a little less than five minutes and then ate for fifteen or twenty minutes before moving a couple of doors down.

Frank Vivolo, an owner of Bruschetteria, says they entered his restaurant with a crew of several people, sat in the window to play a song, and had a couple of glasses of wine (Stipe abstained). “The manager came in and asked, ‘Is it okay if my band comes in?’” Vivolo tells us. “He kind of mumbled R.E.M. — I didn’t get that part of the story.” Good thing his customers were cool when he asked if they objected to hearing some random band. We might just have refused for fear of tip-hungry mariachis.

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