R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe Remembers Vic Chesnutt

Singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt died Friday, at the age of 45. According to The New York Times, Chesnutt had been in a coma, induced by an overdose of muscle relaxants.

Vic Chesnutt i i

hide captionVic Chesnutt

Jem Cohen
Vic Chesnutt

Vic Chesnutt

Jem Cohen

The performer, based in Athens, Ga., lost the use of his legs after an auto accident when he was 18. That trauma, and his ongoing bouts with depression, helped transform Chesnutt into a dark, brooding writer whose work has been compared to that of Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner.

Michael Stipe, of the band R.E.M., first met Chesnutt in Athens. He produced Chesnutt's first two albums.

"He was able to bring levity to very dark emotions and feelings, and he had a humor that was really quite unusual," Stipe says. "I said recently that I thought he was one of our greatest songwriters, and one of our greatest voices."

Stipe spoke with host Guy Raz about his friend; for the rest of the interview, click the "Listen Now" link at the top of this page.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.