Henry e-mails to alert us to the news that Ahmadinejad is Kind Of Getting Back Into Old R.E.M. Again:
Ahmadinejad confirmed he first discovered R.E.M. in 1986 after stumbling across Fables Of The Reconstruction on vinyl at a record store in Tehran. At the time a civil engineering graduate student who helped crack down on dissident university professors and pupils, he said he was immediately infatuated with the band upon hearing the haunting guitar riff at the start of album opener "Feeling Gravitys Pull."
"I was already into the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and Pylon, but R.E.M was like the perfect mixture of jangle pop and college rock, plus they had this really atmospheric quality that was all their own," said the man the terrorist group al-Qaeda once blasted for spreading conspiracy rumors about the 9/11 attacks. "You know the thunder effect on 'We Walk'? It's actually the slowed down sound of billiard balls colliding, but with the tape played back at a really slow speed. Pretty cool, right?"
Claiming the Grammy Award–winning band has always been "super important" to him as a source of reassurance in tough times, Ahmadinejad told reporters he never would have gotten through the stress of the 2009 Iranian election protests and Green Revolution if he hadn't pulled out his copy of Lifes Rich Pageant and "just put 'Fall On Me' on repeat."
"People don't give Lifes Rich Pageant enough credit, but it's really good—really good," said the Iranian ruler who has been widely condemned for his human rights record. "It's a great album to put on when you're traveling. When I went to the U.N. in 2005 to speak about Iran's right to develop nuclear power, I was listening to it all the time."