Thanks to the kindness of a radio personality who can name himself if he reads this (not sure if he wants to be ID’d), I’ve recently come into possession of a CD-R of the lone single billed to Thirteen-One-Eleven, or 13111 – a song called “My Bible Is the Latest T.V. Guide” backed with a cover of the New Colony Six track “Things I’d Like to Say,” which was released as a single by Jefferson Holt’s Dog Gone Records in 1989. If you scrawl that band name (13111) really quick, you might find it looks a bit like the name BILL – and indeed, this is the lone (so far? we can hope) solo release by Bill Berry formerly from R.E.M.
Not much here to support those who’d argue that Berry was the true heart of the band – although the a-side is an amusing faux-country number and the b-side a nice cover of a song that was regionally popular around the time Berry was living in (it’s true) Milwaukee for a year or so. I’m more impressed by the cover, actually – Berry’s arrangement and playing (I couldn’t find info, but I know he plays guitar and piano in addition to drums, so I’m assuming he plays at least those instruments) show a fine grasp of the song while downplaying the soupiness of the original. Not a masterpiece – but it’s nice to have – and I’m sure there are some R.E.M. completists whom this post will please. So enjoy.