R.E.M., Neutral Milk Hotel, and of Montreal are donating to the restoration of the St. Mary’s Church steeple in Athens, Georgia. The steeple was once attached to the church in which R.E.M. played their first show in 1980. The church is no longer a performance space and has been mostly torn down, but the “R.E.M. steeple” remains. Nuçi’s Space, a musicians’ health and resource center, has established an Indiegogo campaign to fully restore the steeple. Groups including the B-52s, R.E.M., Pylon, Widespread Panic, Neutral Milk Hotel, Drive-By Truckers, of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control, and Danger Mouse have already helped this project in some capacity.
The campaign began today and will run through December 13, and has already raised $28,212 of the $250,000 goal. Anyone who donates $100 will receive one of 2,000 bricks from the church along with a certificate of authenticity; $50 donors will receive a tote bag with the campaign logo on it; $35 donors will receive a campaign T-shirt. Other “perks” include stage props, Kate Pierson’s black sequined dress from the “With The Wild Crowd” performance, and autographed merch. Check it out (and donate) here.