The first biography of R.E.M wholly researched and written since the group’s disbandment in 2011 is set to be released May 14 via Verse Chorus Press. The book, titled Begin the Begin (an allusion to the lead-off track from the band’s 1986 album, Life’s Rich Pageant), is written by biographer Robert Dean Lurie.
Begin the Begin is said to offer what is by far the most detailed account of the alt-rockers’ formative years. Lurie, who tracked down and interviewed a myriad of previously underrepresented figures from the band’s history, doesn’t leave anything out—from early tours cramped in the back of a van to establishing a name and a recognizable style in 1980s Athens, Ga., following in the footsteps of other free-spirited musical acts like The B-52s, it’s all there.
Watch a 1998 R.E.M. performance from the Paste archives and see Begin the Begin’s cover art below. You can read an excerpt from the band’s forthcoming biography here and preorder it here.