Ethan Kaplan Reviews Michael’s New Photobook, Volume 1

Many of you will remember Ethan Kaplan who founded and ran the R.E.M. fan site, Murmurs.com, for many years.  Ethan has had an illustrious career in the music industry working previously with Warner Bros. Records and Live Nation and currently with Fender where he is the General Manager and Chief Product Officer of their Digital division.  In addition to being a lifelong fan and avid supporter of all things R.E.M., Ethan is also a photographer and a scholar. He’s written an excellent and heartfelt review of Michael’s new photobook, Volume 1, which was just published by Damiani.

Here’s an excerpt from the review…

I’ve known Michael Stipe since I was 7, through music. I knew him through media up until I was around 24 and then I began to know him personally. There was a myth about him, built up starting with his first press photos and interviews. And it was a myth we — meaning fans and spectators — subscribed to willingly. That of the tortured artist, the enigma and later an iconoclast who blurred the lines of traditional binaries and what it meant to be a male, white celebrity in the 20th and 21st century.

My first interaction with Stipe as more than a fan was in 1999 after a show at Jones Beach amphitheater in New York. He had sent for me in the audience to thank me for buying his domain name. A long story. I was shuttled through the tunnel backstage after the show and shown over to him, where he was sitting with Patti Smith, another idol of mine.

Read Ethan’s full review here