Tom Sheehan first met R.E.M. in 1984, being compelled initially both by their southern strangeness and unique alternative twist on ‘60s folk-rock and jangle. “Our first encounter was all very swift as most of these encounters are,” he remembers. “Punk had gone past and there was this whole rush of new American music. It was that thing that we love so much about people redefining what you think about music.”
Between 1984 and 2005, Sheehan would capture a succession of iconic images of R.E.M. In singer Michael Stipe, himself a photographer, he found a subject utterly aware and alive inside the lens. “He understands an image,” says Sheehan. “For me, it’s about capturing a band at a point in time. I only play one instrument, the camera.”
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