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Nova Convention Banner

On November 26th, 1996, Lawrence Kansas was host to The Nova Convention (Revisited), a tribute to local author William S. Burroughs. All of the performers (Patti Smith, Deborah Harry formerly of Blondie, John Giorno, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and Ed Sanders) attended the original convention, which took place in 1978 in New York City. That is, except for one very special guest.

Michael Stipe made an unannounced, guest appearance at the event. There were rumors throughout the city that he was going to show up, but no one would commit to saying that he would be there. Then, less than 24 hours before the event was set to begin, I heard a semi-confirmed report (I talked to someone who knew the manager at the Lied Center, where the event was to be held) that he was definitely going to be there. Luckily, tickets were still available, and I was able to sneak my camera into the venue!

Patti Smith and her band performing their four song acoustic set including "Southern Cross," "Dancing Barefoot," and "Gone Again."

Michael Stipe singing "Long Road" alongside Lenny Kaye and Oliver Raye. This song is a Pearl Jam cover.

Michael greeting Patti after his solo performance...he later returned to perform backing vocals alongside her.

Michael and Patti doing a "reverse Ebow." Michael improvised a background chorus as Patti recited an excerpt from Burroughs' Queer.

You can also see my photos of the most significant REM landmarks by visiting the R.E.M. / Athens, GA "Tour."

If you have a tape of this show, please email me to work something out. I would be willing to trade for copies of these pictures, or other REM boots.