Stipe Takes on Gierach and R.E.M. Records Fly Fishing Album

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What the Hell?

What the Hell?

When Michael Stipe, lead singer for the band R.E.M., made a string of appearances on the Colbert Report around the holidays I was shocked by his current physical appearance.

To be sure, none of us are getting any younger and I applaud Stipe for embracing his graying hair and changing features, but there was more to it than that. There was something eerily familiar, almost comforting, about Stipe’s new look. He carried an air of wisdom that I’d never noticed before and he almost seemed…fishy.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more going on here than meets the eye. Was this just the graceful aging of a pop star or was there something else going on? Was this nature, or craft? I had to get to the bottom of it.

Possibly the greatest perk of being part of Gink and Gasoline is being on the “Celebrity A List,” so I called Michael up for an interview. I was shocked at his candor. It turns out that, not only are my suspicions well founded, they are spot on.

LC- Thanks for taking my call Michael. I’m sure I speak for the entire Gink and Gasoline community when I say, your work has been a real inspiration.

MS- Thanks Louis, I’m a big fan. I read Gink every morning while I have my coffee. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that hook removal video. You really saved my ass there.

LC- That’s great, we knew someone was reading. I’m glad to know it was you. Thanks!

MS- No problem.

LC- I saw your recent appearance on the Colbert Report with Mandy Patinkin. It was a great performance.

MS- Thanks.

LC- Look Michael, I’m going to get right to it. Are you turning into John Gierach?

MS- Well, I think that’s a bit heavy handed. I wouldn’t say I’m “turning into” John Gierach. I think of it more like, picking up where John left off.

LC- So I’m not crazy here? You are definitely reforging yourself in the image of my favorite fly fishing author.

MS- Well no, I wouldn’t say I … OK, yes, yes I am.

LC- That’s fucking crazy Michael, not to mention…well, inappropriate.

MS- Really? Let’s look at the facts. “Trout Bum” came out in 1986. That’s about a year after “Fables of the Reconstruction”. It’s common knowledge that John had been following our tour circuit since “Reckoning”, that was 1984. I saw him every night, out there in the crowd, singing along, one of those fans who knows every word. Then half way through the “Reconstruction” tour he disappears. He was there in Akron Friday night and Saturday in Cleveland he’s just gone, nobody knows where. Next thing you know here he is with this “fly fishing” book”. Go back and listen to those early tracks, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

LC- I don’t even know how to respond to that, but still, isn’t stealing a mans identity, hell, his physical appearance, crossing some kind of line?

MS- Please! David Bowie did it every other year. He’d throw on Marc Bolan or Iggy Pop or Brian Eno, make a couple of gold records and just move on. Mick Jagger made a career of doing Little Richard. Hell, you even lifted the Hot Wheels logo! I’m not doing anything new. Ever since M.C. Hammer stole “Super Freak” from Rick James it’s been the wild west out here. Besides, John has done some great work, I’ll give him that but he’s never had the rhythm section to back it up. I’m just following the natural arc of the thing. And it’s not just me, R.E.M. Is getting back together. Pete and Mike really get this fly fishing vibe. We’re going to own this.

LC- So R.E.M. Is becoming a fly fishing band?

MS- R.E.M. have always been a fly fishing band. If we’re guilty of anything it’s being too subtle about it. If you don’t have a bunch of caddis flies in your hat or a Simms sticker on the tour bus people don’t get it. We were just trying to do something different but we’re done with that now. It’s time to be who we are.

LC- You mean John Gierach?

MS- Not just John. You’ve never noticed how much Peter looks like Andy Mill?

LC- So what’s next? Where is the crazy train headed?

MS- To the studio. We’re currently recording a new record called “New Adventures in Highsticking”. It’s ground breaking. Cuts like “Don’t Go Back to Bozeman”, “Shiny Happy Rainbows” and “Losing My Rapala” are going to be instant hits, you’ll see. The people are ready for this. It’s in the zeitgeist.

LC- What brought this on?

MS- Its simple really. Like I said, “Trout Bum” was released in 1986, that same year R.E.M. Released “Life’s Rich Pageant”. Do you know the difference? People are still buying “Trout Bum”, that’s the difference. It’s time we cashed in! These idiots will pay $750 for a fishing rod or $600 for a pair of waders for Christ’s sake! They’ll buy anything we turn out. “New Adventures in Highsticking” will retail for about $250. That’s a hot price point in fly fishing. It should fly off the shelves. We’re marketing it as the “One record” you have to have. Pretty sweet huh? And although it was recorded in China, it was written in England and I think people will respect that. We’re back baby!

LC- Well, thanks for your time Michael. I wish you the best of luck with the new record and thanks for following G&G.

MS- It was my pleasure Louis and next time you speak to Kent see if he can do a write up on fishing a Wooly Bugger under a strike indicator. I find that to be deadly.

So there you have it. Look for “New Adventures in Highsticking” on iTunes and in the record store soon. You can pick up a copy of John Gierach’s latest book “No Shortage of Good Days” HERE, and stay tuned to Gink and Gasoline for more trend spotting, fishing tips, photos and video.

 See The Colbert Report appearance here!



Come fish with us in the Bahamas!

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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27 thoughts on “Stipe Takes on Gierach and R.E.M. Records Fly Fishing Album

  1. G&G readers demand that Michael be awarded an all expenses paid fly fishing trip to some exotic isolated location, and pics to be posted on blog.

    Anyone care to have an R.E.M. redo the lyrics (to something fly fishing related) contest:

    “Thats me in the river, thats me in the slot, line, fishing in frustration…” (Losing my Religion)

    “Troutswimming, deserves to make lines tight, The photograph on the mantel, taken years ago…turnaround backward so that no one knows…where in the world, you caught that fish…” (Nightswimming)

    “Now Louis set your hook in a big one, tell me are you caught on a log?, Louis are you losing the monster (hey fishy), are you losing touch?…If you believe, they put a fish in the net, fish in the net” (Man on the Moon)

  2. Losing my Rapala . . . that’s good stuff.

    Please check out my new band on iTunes. We call ourselves R.E.M. Speedgarden, and our new single is called “I Wanna Gink You”.

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  4. I am sceptic about this post. John is one of my favorite authors I hope this isnt some kind of sceem or scam of in any way degrading to the author or the sport. I have always liked REM but Rapala???!!@#$
    and Im a serious streamer guy so high sticking is out of my realm maybe im biased
    not trying to be a buzz kill but someting doesnt sit right with this post. try out some woood brothers or some uncle tupelo for some good music.

    • Indeed, John is on of my favorite authors as well and a friend. I hope this post will encourage a few folks to by his latest book.

      Scam? to what purpose? The word you are searching for is, I think satire.

      I’m pleased that your willing suspension of disbelief has allowed me such license. We are G&G not CNN. Please read again. I think my point is obvious.

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