“It’s a subtle, political thing. Michael specifically mentions the term ‘bush-whacked’. But if you want to take it like ‘Stand’, that’s cool, too. You like to think that you can appreciate these songs on any level you want to. I have a lot of records I listen to when I’m just doing the dishes. Like Ride records. I really like Ride a lot. And I have no idea what the songs are about. And I really don’t care. I don’t even worry about it. Lyrics are the last thing I listen to, unless someone is hitting me over the head with it.”
— R.E.M.’s Peter Buck on Drive
Drive may have written to encourage young people to get involved in politics and to vote but I have always thought that the video was about the dangers of crowd surfing. The video was filmed over two nights at Los Angeles’s Sepulveda Dam. According to Michael Stipe, both Oliver Stone and actor River Phoenix showed up for the filming: “Oliver had been drinking and they got into a fight in my trailer. It was fun to watch. And it kind of fueled the energy that this video, from beginning to end, kind of carries through it.”
This video was one of several videos that Peter Care directed for R.E.M. Care also directed videos for Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Depeche Mode, and Fine Young Cannibals. Care has also directed one feature film, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.
Supposedly, Adam Scott is an extra in the video. I have yet to spot him.