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R.E.M. Steeple

r-e-m-steepleTucked away just off Oconee St. in Athens, Georgia, this lonely looking steeple is all that remains of the site where R.E.M. played their first show on April 5, 1980.

A friend of mine, who used to play in different band with Mike Mills, tells a story about helping them load gear in through that venue’s window late at night.

At the time, it was supposed to be a private show for a birthday party held at the old St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, which was then residences. They performed as Twisted Kites, and a few weeks later changed it to R.E.M.

What is now known as the R.E.M. Steeple is a cultural icon of the famous Athens’ music scene.

After suffering a devastating fire years earlier, the steeple was in horrible condition when the owners of the condominium complex and the property where the steeple is located donated it to neighboring Nuçi’s Space.

Last year, Nuci’s Space raised almost $150,000 to stabilize the steeple and create a meditative space alongside it. Well-known Athens’ bands, like The B-52’s, Drive-By Truckers,R.E.M. and many others contributed to the effort.

Nuci’s Space is a non-profit organization providing a variety of services to assist in the emotional, physical and professional wellbeing of musicians. After the suicide of 22-year-old Nuci Phillips in 1996, his mother decided to create a way to help other musicians struggling with mental illness. To learn more about the services they provide and how you can help, check out their website: www.nuci.org

Roam & Ramble was inspired by my Jeep Wrangler I absolutely love to drive. As I roam past various curiosities on my journeys, I often wonder about them and decided to make a game of taking a shot that has to feature some piece of my Jeep and then ramble on a bit about whatever it is that has me wondering.

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