Say It's Your Birthday: Michael Stipe

Birthday boy photographed by Jay Blakesberg.

Yes we know it's Michael Stipe's thirty-sixth birthday,

but what can we tell you about the R.E.M. front person that the National

Enquirer hasn't already? If you don't know everything about him by now,

it's because you don't want to, so we'll respect your wishes in this matter.

Especially since we have so many other birthday's worth celebrating today. Like

Bernard Sumner (born Bernard Albrecht in 1956), the former guitarist for Joy

Division, New Order, and Electronic (though either one of the latter two groups

might still be breathing; with this lot it's often hard to tell). Or John

McLauglin (born 1942) the English guitarist who gained international renown for

his work with Miles Davis, Carlos Santana, and his own Mahavishnu Orchestra.

(ATN Hot Tip: check out McLauglin's work with the Tony William's Lifetime which

included Williams on drums, Jack Bruce on bass, and Larry Young on organ. Their

eponymously titled 1970 album is a lost classic of early jazz rock fusion.) Or

one Vollker Homback, purportedly of Tangerine Dream about whom we know nothing.

Or Arthur Conley (born 1946), the Otis Redding protégé about whom we know one

thing: his 1967 hit "Sweet Soul Music" is probably the best record anybody on

this list has ever made.