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R.E.M. Fans Raise $82,000 in One Day for Stricken Touring Member

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Fans of R.E.M. moved quickly to offer help after touring musician Scott McCaughey suffered a “major” stroke – raising nearly $82,000 of support money in just one day.

McCaughey, who’s also frontman of The Young Fresh Fellows and The Minus 5, first worked with R.E.M. in 1994 and remained a member of the live unit until the band split in 2011. He played guitar and keyboards and also contributed backing vocals.

McCaughey’s wife Mary Winzig said on the GoFundMe page she’d set up: “As many of you know, Scott McCaughey has suffered a major stroke and is receiving treatment in San Francisco. To all of you who have expressed love and interest in helping him, we have set up this Go Fund Me account to help defray the steep costs of Scott’s medical bills and extensive ongoing physical and speech therapy in the future.

“He is still in ICU and has a long, difficult road ahead to recover, but with his unsinkable spirit (and with time and hard work) we know that he’ll come back from this and be back in your town rocking soon.” At time of writing, the fund total stood at $94,000 from a stated target of $75,000, with 1,110 donors having pledged financial support.

McCaughey said in a 2017 interview with NoDepression: “I just love music and I love being the guy who sings his own songs — or shouts them. I love being that guy in a band with Young Fresh Fellows. I love doing my own thing in Minus 5. I love being in other bands and playing great music.” Speaking of some of his extensive range of projects, including additional work with R.E.M. exes Peter Buck and Mike Mills, he reflected: “That’s just a dream come true for a rock and roll geek like I am. It’s never an ego thing with me. I feel so lucky that I have a life where I get to play music.”

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