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July 17, 2006

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» Lesson: Don't bet against Stipe from Merry Swankster
As Wired EIC Chris Anderson tells it, he was in a band that lost the name REM in a "battle of the bands" to the Stipe-led contingent in 1982. It's 1982, I've failed out of college and am working in... [Read More]

» Egoslavia from Hapax Legomena
The true story of how an obscure New Wave band got its name, from a former band member who now writes about internet economy. The thing is, I actually like the name Egoslavia better than REM. ... [Read More]

» Once upon a time, there were two R.E.M.s. from A Moment Of Noise
The amusing and amazing story about how one band became R.E.M., and, well, one band didnt. My New Wave Hair ... [Read More]

Comments

SJGMoney

Now that's a great story! I was in college at the time and was still listening to the stuff me and my high school buddies loved, 60's and 70's artists like Led Zep, the Doors, Cream etc. The first time I heard Radio Free Europe I'm sure I looked like the audience at your "duel"

Changed my musical tastes forever. I'll now always wonder if Egoslavia would have done the same!!!

Gerard

I've had your book in my Amazon shopping cart for a few days, I clicked on "Proceed to Checkout" simply because I loved that story. By the way do you remember what you would have named REM had you won the coin toss?

Tim Walters

Wow--I have the Egoslavia record, and read your blog, but would never have dreamed that there was a connection. The long tail in action!

I have a monkey suit, too, but that's neither here nor there.

Tim Walters

Having now visited the Valleywag link, I must defend my cred: the monkey suit reference was purely from memory.

danielcozart

I'm half way through the book and love it - thanks Chris! In 1982, I was also playing bass for a college band in Florida - we called our music "New Wave", influenced by a little band from Athens, GA, The B-52's. We never had to battle them for a name; however, we did get to play "What I Like About You" for The Romantics in Daytona Beach at the Wave Club. They said it was the best cover of their song they'd ever heard. I'm sure the beer they were drinking had no bearing on their ability to properly hear our music.

Eric the Red

Awwww lookatchu. All mopey 'n shit.

AND a band name with heavy metal umlauts!

Emerson

I saw Egoslavia play at the 9:30 Club or some such place. I really liked the show. I'm happy to know you've moved on to bigger and better things. The record store guy in the article is of course Skip Groff of Y&T Records, who kick-started the DC Hardcore scene's record output.

Greg Strzempka

Jeez Chris, I always thought that I thought of Egoslavia?!...Oddly enuff someone sent me this a couple days ago...

who'd cough up 100 beans for "Radio Free Europe"? not me!....and a damn shame we didn't record "Eye's Meet" ...

David Parmet

wasn't there a law about playing "Stepping Stone" in 1982?

Chris Anderson

Hey Gregg,

Cool to see you pop up in the comments! Long time...

It must have been all the beer--I'd remembered Mike Mills coming up with the name. Did you suggest it to him, or did you already have it in mind? Sorry for being fuzzy on the chronology after we lost the battle. It was a long time ago in a universe far away. Can you fill in the details?

Best,

Chris

David

What a great story! But did you make up the part about flunking out of college? That's a little hard to imagine.

Chris Anderson

David,

I really did flunk out of college. But rest assured, after my music "career", in my mid-twenties, I went back to university and was hard core, eventually graduating with a physics degree. Let's just say I needed some time to grow up before turning into the egghead I am today.

Chris

Anne Marie Ames

Chris,
just caught you on charlie rose talking about your book and finally put it all together...have seen your name in print over the years as a writer, and thought it might be you, but never had a face to go with the name -- so after seeing you on tv, i knew it was you (even without your blonde locks)-- i checked out the wired site and find this blog -- talking about your days at hauck & assoc....do you remember a young blonde who also worked at the office where you were a messenger?

Chris

Chris,

This post on your past musical career was perfect timing. I was on the D.C. metro tonight after work, reading your book, and on pg. 155 read about you being in a punk band down here during the 80s. Where was the downtown record store you worked in, just wondering b/c I work downtown as well.

Thanks again for writing a great book and for this post. Now I'll have to find some mp3s of the band and I agree, 9:30 Club is truly a great venue. And WIRED is a great magazine, the only one I subscribe too. Thanks.

Joe!

that's a great anecdote! I could totally relate i'm in a punk band too and a day job. The hours are really tough, but in the end I'd give an arm and a leg to be in the same situation that you were at the time: an actual showdown with one of the most influential bands of the 20th century before the were actually influential. Interesting stuff!

Rodney Rumford

Chris,
What a great story! and the showdown with that "other band" called REM is really pretty cool.

I just listened to the song and it really has a gang of four sound and don't take offense here...it has a riff that struck me as slightly influenced by devo.

Congrats on the book. I have been reading your insights on your blog about the book since you first started blogging about the long tail.

The concept is very solid and really helps to explain some behaviors by consumers online... the concept can be applied to many business situations and i have referenced it many times in presentations and blogged about it a very long time ago...

Cheers!

Rodney Rumford

Jim Long

Chris,

I am an old-media workhorse (NBC News cameraman), who not even a year ago, found evangelism in your Wired article. I'm also a graduate/survivor of the DC Punk scene. It's interesting that both then and now, I feel like we're on the verge of something very very big. Your work has opened my eyes to innumerable opportunities. Incedentally, I don't know if you've been down 9th street lately, but the entire 930 building is gone. They shouldve at least saved the graffiti wall from the alley eh?

Jim

david kunkel

Previewing your Comment
I thnk the long tail philosphy is a gleam of light for hte small and medium busness owner who has felt tht the internet is really the arena of the giants. WSI is an international franchise with 2000 offices in 87 countries and we ahve long felt that the internet will eventually become the equilizer for the SME's worldwide. Your book reinforces tha belief.
with your permission I would like to reference your materials and include some of your comments/graphs etc in seminars that many of the franchise owners conduct worldwide entitled " Why Most Websites Dont Work". I can be reached at dkunkel@creativeWSIebizsolutions.com or 1-866-993-0002
regards,
david

Jimmy Lin

I had a chance to read up on your bio. I gonna say the experience is just like a roller coaster ride. I would be very interested to read your book.

fill

Great story. I'm assuming you got REM from the same source - an undergraduate's enthusiasm for pop psychology(?) The Gang of Four mention is interesting - as an REM fan since 1984, my REM "catch-prase" is "they started out as the Byrds meets Gang of Four; the ended up as Glen Campbell meets Fleetwood Mac - which is not as bad as it sounds". Still, I prefer Gardning at Night to Leaving New York.

jobriath

Chris -
I remember you guys being called Ego-K after the name change from REM.
Then later you became Egoslavia.
The Mike Mills story is great, however - why the hell not....

I saw you under all names, my fave show being the 9:30 Club 2nd anniversary. Still have a button thrown out by Gregg from the stage.
Met Gregg at 9:30 happy hour once and sat back there making out with him - even though he was straight and I'm a guy. Ah, the old days.

xmas gifts

Awesome post I must say . Congrats on the book. I have been reading your insights on your blog about the book since you first started blogging about the long tail. And i am fan of your writing. Really too good. Thanks.

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Tidbits

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!