U2360° TOUR Leg 3: 2011

Nov
25
1997

Athens, Georgia - R.E.M. hospitality.

Athens, Georgia - R.E.M. hospitality. Wining, dining and dodgy home videos provide a warm welcome for Willie and Joe.

Joe & I took a flight from San Antonio to Atlanta, where Bruce met us in a rented car. We headed out to Athens, Georgia, home of R.E.M., where we planned to stay the night. Bertis Downs, the band's manager, had invited us for dinner which sounded like a great plan. On arrival at the picturesque little Bed & Breakfast place where we were staying, we got a call from Bertis saying that Michael Stipe and a few friends were in town and keen to see us, so could we meet at his house first. So, over to Bertis's house, where he & his wife Katherine proudly showed us their new baby daughter before we descended into the wine cellar. The Downs wine cellar is a) very large and b) very well stocked with fabulous wines. Not wishing to waste any time we ploughed in and sampled some very fine vintages. And then some more. And then some more. Michael arrived with three friends and we settled into the living room, as Bert continued to bring in more bottles. We were all loving life by the time we finally left to eat.

Dinner was at "The Grit", an Athens landmark low-key veggie place. Whilst we were there, Lance Bangs, one of the R.E.M. film makers arrived, and we ended up going back to his place. Lance lives in a converted schoolhouse, which looks like a scene from the Young Ones. The place is jammed with video tapes, arcade games, ping pong table, strange art installations, pictures, papers and Polaroids everywhere.

Lance entertained us with stories about a local Nubian religious order who were building pyramids out in the Georgia wilderness, and with highlights from his alternative movie collection, including the epic "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" and the legendary bootlegged home video of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's honeymoon, which was pretty horrifying. I'd heard rumour that this tape existed - Pam & Tommy's home movie of themselves consummating their marriage. Let me tell you, it leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination.

Rolled back to our B&B in the wee small hours, feeling restored into the heart of Athens life. What wonderful, mad, inspiring and utterly nice people they all are.

Related Topics

Current News

16 Apr, 2013
We've got winners in our #U2FTGU competition.
12
11 Mar, 2013
Photos and clips 'from the ground up' arriving every day. Love your work...
24
18 Feb, 2013
Ever made anything From The Ground Up? (See what we did there?) Check out our latest competition.
11
29 Jan, 2013
Those five bonus downloads when you subscribe to U2.com? All you need to know.
17
18 Dec, 2012
It opens with Breathe and closes with "40" - but what are the other thirteen tracks on Edge's Picks?
96
15 Nov, 2012
Fifteen tracks selected by The Edge... but what are they?
108
14 Nov, 2012
'From The Ground Up' is the inside story of U2360° and in this exclusive extract we go backstage with Adam.
9
27 Jun, 2012
Saturday marks three years since U2360 took off - we're hosting 'U22 Day' to celebrate.
61

Current News

08 Dec, 2014
Additional dates confirmed in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris.
08 Dec, 2014
11 Films of Innocence airing for 24 hours ... plus 12th, special to U2.com subscribers.
6
08 Dec, 2014
Tickets for the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour on general sale this morning.
03 Dec, 2014
On the road in 2015, playing indoor arenas for the first time in a decade. Cities, dates, tickets, presales.
183
02 Dec, 2014
U2 Minus 1 hosted some pretty special guests to mark World AIDS Day.
17
01 Dec, 2014
Friends step in to save U2’s surprise World AIDS Day (RED) performance...
34
27 Nov, 2014
Live From the MTV EMA in Glasgow. Every Breaking Wave.
31
25 Nov, 2014
Rare live set from 1980, now on double vinyl and digitally remastered. Introducing our 2014/15 subscription offer.