R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe Recalls Meeting His Hero Johnny Cash For The First Time

R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe remembered the time he met the late singer Johnny Cash during his recent interview with Broken Record Podcast. Stipe revealed how he managed to do that with the help of famous producer Rick Rubin and expressed his feelings about that moment.

Johnny Cash and his longtime backing band Tennessee Three, gained great fame and success quickly thanks to Cash’s one-of-a-kind voice and the band members’ talents as instrumentalists. Cash released countless hit singles and albums that most of his dedicated fans still hear. Also, many think he was an inspiration and musical hero for young generation musicians who wanted a prolific career like him.

Like many, Stipe defined Cash as one of the musicians that he appreciated and admired the most while recalling their first meeting in his conversation with the person who made it possible, Rick Rubin. Rubin is the legendary producer of various artists and bands such as Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty, and Cash. Therefore, he knew the iconic singer, and Rubin and Stipe went backstage to speak with him.

The event was a tribute to Cash, and he was performing for it. According to the R.E.M frontman, listening to and meeting with him was such a great moment. Stipe added that he couldn’t have a chance to talk with him before, but he saw his second wife, June Carter Cash, many times during some charity events. He’s thankful for this opportunity because Cash passed away shortly after due to complications from diabetes on September 12, 2003.

Here’s what Rubin said:

“We went to Manhattan Center for an event for Johnny Cash, and it was a tribute to Cash, but he sang at the tribute. It was beautiful. I remember we were sitting up on the left balcony. It was just a beautiful night, and I was so glad that we got to do that together.”

Stipe responded:

“I think because of you, I managed to make it backstage before the show. I met Johnny for the first time, and I had met June several times before because of charity events that we were attending. However, I had never met Johnny, and as it turns out of the course, that was one of the last years of his life. So, thank you for allowing me to meet Johnny Cash, one of my great heroes.”

You can check out the interview below.