R.E.M. manager Downs reflects on career, looks forward on public education

Online Athens, February 2013

by Andre Gallant

Bertis Downs, longtime manager of R.E.M., had an early run-in with rock ’n’ roll’s upper echelons as a bell hop in Atlanta in the 1970s. During a summer working at Atlanta’s Colony Square hotel, between semesters at law school, Downs encountered “an entourage of old people” who had camped out in the city while on a North American tour. Those old fogies, a gaggle of rockers who had somehow made a career of loud music, were the Rolling Stones, whose lead singer, Mick Jagger, was not yet 40 at the time…

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