Paradise Garden, revisited

R.E.M. debuts T. Hardy Morris' performance at Howard Finster's Georgia estate, a spot they made famous in 1983

By Katie McDonough
Published August 8, 2013 10:13PM (EDT)
A screenshot from the video for "Radio Free Europe"    (YouTube)
A screenshot from the video for "Radio Free Europe" (YouTube)

It's been 30 years since "Radio Free Europe" made R.E.M. famous (like, really famous), and introduced much of the MTV-watching world to the work of Baptist minister and folk artist Howard Finster.

R.E.M. shot the video for the "Murmur" single at the artist's sprawling (and seriously, delightfully weird) Georgia estate, Paradise Garden, and Finster and Michael Stipe would go on to collaborate on a painting that served as the cover for the band's second album, "Reckoning."

Finster died in 2001, but his influence still looms pretty large. Decades after R.E.M. put the place on the map, T. Hardy Morris, another Athens-based musician, returned to Paradise Garden to shoot a video for his "Share the Needle." Finster himself even makes a little cameo (thanks to some archival footage).

R.E.M. debuted the video (which they called a "conscious-raising statement that to an endangered historic site in the band's home state which deserves preservation") on Thursday on their official site.

You can check it out here:

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Art Georgia History Howard Finster Michael Stipe R.e.m. Video