REM is back in South America -- about 12 days behind the FBO -- and their overpriced show at Simon Bolivar Park didn't even make the local paper El Tiempo's arts section. It did make the news section though.
A pic on page one led to a page 16 story that pronounced 'REM se empapo de rock politco,' starting its news-related piece:
'With a dedication to Democratic candidate for president in the USA, Barack Obama, REM confirmed the tendency as a progressive and political group, during the concert last night in Bogota.'
Not very snappy -- my translation -- and certainly nothing new, but apparently Michael Stipe dedicated a so-so new song 'Man Sized Wreath' to Obama. This is potentially upsetting for some of the rich crowd here, who sometimes lean more towards the Republicans.
Or was it? According to www.REMHQ.com*, the Bogota show was 'the loudest crowd of the tour.' Loud in a good way.
Yesterday I bumped into a young lightly bearded reporter for channel 7 here interviewing a black man from Colombia's Caribbean coast about 'human rights' and got to talking with him about travel, perception of Colombia, and why he should use his press card to sneak us both into REM. I mentioned REM often puts politics into their shows, and with Colombia being a surprise issue in the last presidential debate, he could talk with him about it. 'I like what you're saying. Do you want to get lunch?,' he asked. I had an another appointment.
Surely channel 7 is snapping their fingers in disappointment now.
Meanwhile, the FBO appreciates REM's continued attempts to apologize for well over a decade of mediocre work. But they're still not invited to the Panhandle Show in Guymon, OK (tentatively scheduled for May 2009).
Mobile HQ -- Bogota, Colombia
* Wonder why REM doesn't use www.REM.com? So do we. Apparently no one else does either.