Guadalcanal Diary, Georgia Scene Late 70s – Early 80s, by Tom Kipp

Mr. Kipp – Do you have any latter-day thoughts about Guadalcanal Diary? Their music may have aged better than the REM of the same period. Perhaps I’m only enjoying it because I hadn’t heard it in 30 years and wasn’t listening closely the first time.

Sincerely,

Ricky in Enumclaw

I’ve loved their “Always Saturday” from the moment I first heard its heart-stopping intro (similarly riveting to that of The Cars’ “It’s All I Can Do”!) on Maryland’s WHFS, while I was managing the used record store in Fairfax, VA back in 1989. But I have no opinion re: anything ELSE they did, much as I only love one song by the Peter Buck-produced Dreams So Real (their sublime “Sweet Jane” rip entitled “Bearing Witness”, the intro to which could fake out any fan of The La’s’ subsequent and much-beloved “There She Goes“!).

That great Georgia scene produced several Historic Bands (The Brains, Pylon, and The B-52’s, with REM coming in fourth, at best. Also: The Method Actors, whose skeletal/angular Postpunk is right up my alley; Oh-OK, whose charmingly quirky pop produced two near-genius-level EPs and an excellent-if-obscure “collected works” cd; and Oh-OK alum Matthew Sweet, whose GIRLFRIEND turned out to be such a splendid showcase for my favorite NYC guitar slingers, Robert Quine and Richard Lloyd!).

Love this one!

Who can resist?!

And of course this masterpiece single!

My favorite Georgia ALBUM, by a hair over The B-52’s priceless debut!

Finally, I’d anoint this lesser-known track from MURMUR as my REM fave rave (been that way since Spring ’83):

Oops, can’t forget my B-52’s pick fer the ages! Wish I’d discovered a new song this addictive during the past TWENTY years….but what could possibly compare?

Tom Kipp

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