Published Jan 31, 2020R.E.M.'s vocal opposition of Donald Trump these past few years has been well-documented, but as frontman Michael Stipe has revealed, it goes back farther than that.
Appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to talk his new solo singles, photo book and more last night (January 30), Stipe was asked about Trump using R.E.M.'s music at his rallies without permission.
As the singer explained, "It's a licensing problem and there's nothing we can do except respectfully request that they not use it."
This led Stipe to tell Colbert about a time he watched close friend Patti Smith perform at a benefit concert at Joe's Pub in New York City, recalling how a man near him in the audience was talking loudly over Smith's performance.
Stipe eventually told him to "shut up" after asking him to be quiet multiple times. "And do you know you that man was?" the singer asked Colbert. "Donald J. Trump."
By no means are we calling Stipe a liar, but it is extremely difficult to imagine Donald Trump at a Patti Smith performance, let alone one at a benefit for anyone other than himself.
Elsewhere in the interview, Stipe revealed his favourite Radiohead song and heaped praise on Thom Yorke's recent solo album ANIMA.
You can watch his Colbert appearance below.
Stipe shared new solo single "Drive to the Ocean" earlier this month, which followed his debut solo single "Your Capricious Soul" that arrived last year.