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Interview with Lynda Stipe, July 11, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:08 - The Athens environment: students and townies

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Partial Transcript: I like to start by asking people when they first moved to Athens and what they were like when they arrived.

Segment Synopsis: Stipe talks about moving to Athens, where she completed her senior year of high school and subsequently enrolled as a sculpture major at the University of Georgia. She also discusses getting involved in the local art scene by going to parties and holding fashion shows. Stipe contrasts the tense race relations in her high school with the accepting attitude of townies and artists.

Keywords: Cedar Shoals; Lamar Dodd School of Art; Potter's House Thrift Store; diversity; education; race relations; working

00:11:16 - Early days of Oh-OK

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Partial Transcript: We're headed towards, of course, the formation of- at least I think it's your first band- Oh-OK, but maybe you can kind of lead us up to that.

Segment Synopsis: Stipe recalls creating her first band, Oh-OK, when her brother's band was in need of an opening act. She describes her songwriting process as well as the supportive, "anything goes" culture of the Athens music scene in the early '80s. Additionally, Stipe talks about playing a set at New York's Peppermint Lounge after Pylon took Oh-OK under its wing.

Keywords: Linda Hopper; bass; composition; formation; travel

00:17:35 - Recording Oh-OK / Band members

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Partial Transcript: So, tell us about coming back and then becoming a major Athens band of the time.

Segment Synopsis: Stipe talks about recording albums, commenting that sound men did not like her soft plucking style on the bass guitar. She mentions various band members and explains her desire to compose for multiple bassists.

Keywords: Bryan Cook; The Drive In; sexism

00:25:12 - From Oh-OK to Hetch Hetchy

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Partial Transcript: And then we broke up in Florida.

Segment Synopsis: Stipe chronicles her involvement in bands like Cowface and Hetch Hetchy. Stipe discusses Hetch Hetchy's cross-national tour, which she struggled to finance by making and selling jewelry. She recalls one show where audience participation made up for the venue's lack of equipment.

Keywords: Donna Smith; Rene Garcia; Texas Hotel Records; touring

00:36:15 - Hetch Hetchy records

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Partial Transcript: Maybe you could tell us about, actually, the Hetchy Hetchy's records.

Segment Synopsis: Stipe talks about public reception of Hetch Hetchy's two albums, which included experimental, unconventional sounds like monkey calls and static. She mentions an extensive practice session in which she lost her voice before New Music Seminar and talks about the band's breakup.

Keywords: Jay Totty; Make Djibouti; Mamie Fike; Michael Stipe; Michael Wegner; Swollen; producing; recording

00:45:20 - Micanopy music / Mars Needs Women

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Partial Transcript: So, after Hetch Hetchy, what happened next for you musically?

Segment Synopsis: Stipe talks about musicians she met in Florida, some of whom she later brought back to Athens. She also recounts memories of her concept band called "Mars Needs Women."

Keywords: Ingrid Shore; Lou Kregel; Organ Grinder; Tim Hankins

00:51:24 - Dance and the band scene

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Partial Transcript: Can you talk about, you know, any of these times that you were in Athens, other bands that you liked...

Segment Synopsis: Stipe describes her admiration of other local bands including Love Tractor, The Side Effects, and Pylon, and she explains that dancing invigorated the Athens music scene. She adds that local musicians were mutually supportive and accepting.

Keywords: Michael Husky; support

00:55:53 - Other local bands

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Partial Transcript: Can you talk at all about Pylon?

Segment Synopsis: Stipe talks about her admiration for Pylon, especially bassist Michael Lachowski, and about how supportive Pylon was toward other local bands. She also mentions the B-52's, the Tone Tones, the Side Effects, and Limbo District, a band she describes as exotic "organized chaos."

Keywords: Bryan Cook; Jeremy Ayers; creativity; support

01:02:57 - Jeremy Ayers

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Partial Transcript: If its something that you could talk about, I'd love to talk a little bit about Jeremy.

Segment Synopsis: Stipe describes her sibling-like relationship with the late Jeremy Ayers and talks about his popularity, humility, and musical prowess.

Keywords: Barber St.; Frogmore; Limbo District; Mark Cline

01:10:30 - The culture of acceptance

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Partial Transcript: One of the things that's interesting about Athens, I think, is the way that in the time period of the late 70s and early 80s, it was a rare sort of space of- a certain amount, at least- of openness to people of a different gender or sexuality...

Segment Synopsis: Stipe comments on how diverse and inclusive the Athens art scene was overall, but she questions whether women had as much expressive freedom as men with regard to sexuality. She also discusses the increase in all-male bands in the early 80s and reflects on what makes Athens a great music town for her.

Keywords: LGBTQ; Love Tractor; discrimination; inclusivity; sexism; sexuality