R.E.M.’s Mike Mills taking part in tribute tour celebrating Big Star’s debut album

Courtesy of Stax Records/Craft Recordings

R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills is among several noteworthy musicians slated to participate in an upcoming U.S. tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of #1 Record, the debut album by the short-lived but influential power-pop band Big Star.

The “Don’t Lie to Me!” trek takes place November 30 in Athens, Georgia; December 3 in Memphis, Tennessee; December 4 in Jersey City, New Jersey; December 6 in Ardmore, Pennsylvania; December 7 in Washington, D.C.; and December 9 in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Mills will be part of a collective of musicians led by Big Star’s only surviving original member, drummer Jody Stephens. Others taking part include Posies singer/guitarist Jon Auer, who played with a later incarnation of Big Star; Wilco‘s Pat Sansone; and Chris Stamey of The dB’s.

Prior to the tour, a special charity concert featuring a full performance of #1 Record will be held on November 5 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California.

Stephens, Mills, Auer, Sansone and Stamey will perform at the Glendale event, along with The BanglesSusanna Hoffs, indie rockers The Lemon Twigs, ex-Black Crowes guitarist Audley Freed and more.

The benefit show, presented by Stephens in partnership with the Wild Honey Foundation, will raise money for The Autism Collective. Tickets are available now at Ticketmaster.com.

Released in April 1972, #1 Record achieved little initial commercial notice, but went on to be embraced by a variety of artists, including R.E.M., The Bangles, The Replacements, Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub and Elliott Smith. Most of the album’s songs were co-written by the group’s two leaders — singer/guitarists Alex Chilton and Chris Bell. Chilton had previously been the lead singer of The Box Tops.

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