Like Two Tugboat Captains Swapping Stories Over A Beer

by | Jun 9, 2006

Harp Magazine has an interesting piece on Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. The pub makes several comparisons between the two, but when it comes to the subject of Stipe, 46, being some kind of guru, or “godfather” to Oberst, 26, Stipe says it’s not like that.

I’ve compared it in the past to the tugboat operators who move up and down the Hudson River in New York City and have a very peculiar and a very particular job, and they have a bar that they go to and they have a vernacular that their wives or partners don’t understand, and little stories about their jobs that only tugboat operators will understand. Well, that’s exactly what it’s like to be a singer in a band. It’s a very particular little universe that you move through. It’s really nice to find somebody who’s experienced the same things that you have.