REM's Michael Stipe on his 37,000 photos – of stars, lovers and Kurt Cobain's hands

Photo of REM's Michael Stipe on his 37,000 photos – of stars, lovers and Kurt Cobain's hands
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Photography has been a lifelong passion for the singer. He talks us through his finest shots, from a sleeping River Phoenix to ‘his queer grandfather’ William Burroughs

‘It was dismissed as a hobby, which was a bit diminishing,” says Michael Stipe. “It meant a lot more to me than that.”

He’s talking about his photography and the way the media ignored it during his time as the frontman of REM. There is, admittedly, something amusing about his gripe: there he was, playing shows to packed stadiums, helping to write generational anthems and singing them with a voice as beguiling as pop has produced – and nobody wanted to talk about his photos!

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