Friday, April 19, 2024

REM, Red Hot Chili Peppers Stick with Warner Music


Hey–even though I criticize Warner Music all the time, I have to be fair–some artists are sticking with them to the bitter end. Over the weekend I ran into two of their biggest group’s leaders–Michael Stipe of REM and Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers. REM is getting ready for a big release in April. It’s part of their famous $80 million advance from the mid 90s when the old Warner Music was going through an upheaval. You know, I love REM. Michael Stipe, sporting a bushy beard, told me the new music stays with WMG–“that’s where our catalog is,” he reminded me. Stipe says he’s making a bunch of short videos with famous artists and filmmakers to along with all the new songs. Some of the new music was heard at James Franco’s art opening with Gus van Sant. Meanwhile, Kiedis says the Peppers are recording now, and hoping for a late summer release. WMG has two opportunities here if they have any interest in staying alive. How about a little marketing? And I do not mean groceries.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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