Lou Moran: REM's rock star (not *that* R.E.M.)

A small portion of Lou's collection.

A small portion of Lou's collection.

At REM, we have our own guitar hero -- and he puts Peter Buck to shame.

Our firm shares its initials with an award-winning rock band. We're not associated with them*, but we do have a rock star of our own in our midst. What do you get when you mix over 15 guitars, 28 years of experience, and a mélange of musical styles, rhythms, and riffs? The answer here is our Director of IT, Lou Moran. It began with a fateful concert in which he saw KISS’s Ace Frehley shoot rockets out of a guitar. Lou was inspired to become a musician, too.

A younger Lou

A younger Lou

Lou's played with many bands over the years. For a time in the mid-90s, he lived the rock star life, opening shows for major rock bands. He’s done studio work for local commercials, and has taken up several other instruments, including bass and drums (anything a band might need). He is no stranger to most genres of music, having played tunes from the Allman Brothers Band to Slayer to experimental jazz. His favorite songs to warm up on are Stevie Ray Vaughan’s "Pride and Joy" (for its complex syncopations), The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" (challenging use of the pinky) and Metallica’s classic "Enter Sandman" (he says this one is just really fun to play).

Lou noodles in his home studio

Lou noodles in his home studio

These days, Lou plays at local bars, and is happy to perform whatever might come up. He has built up quite a collection of guitars, including several Les Pauls, some of which are currently on loan to friends and family. Otherwise, Lou enjoys “noodling” by the TV (playing guitar along with whatever plays out of the television) or jamming along with his son to Cage the Elephant or The Orwells. So keep your eyes and ears peeled if you go out at night—you might just catch Lou playing something sweet.

* If Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, or Mike Mills is reading this: Hi! Need a new accountant?