Living in the southeastern United States, it is rare to meet anyone who doesn’t think of soul food as a delicacy. Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods, an iconic soul food restaurant located outside of Athens, Georgia is renowned not only for its soul food meals, but also for its contribution to the history of alternative rock. Dexter Weaver, owner, coined the phrase “Automatic for the People” over two decades ago which was popularized by the band R.E.M. who used it as an album title. This year R.E.M. is celebrating their 25th anniversary of its debute.
The quaint, bright green business became known for not only the delicious soul food entrees, but also for its spirited “Automatic” greeting as each customer entered the door. The upbeat atmosphere of Weaver D’s, coupled with the memorable phrase “Automatic for the People” was fitting for the band. Walk in, get welcomed by friendly Dexter, and place an order for a tasty meal. AUTOMATIC!
In an interview with Weaver D’s owner, Weaver stated that R.E.M. randomly stopped by the restaurant one day with an attorney to seek permission to use the phrase as the album title. Weaver agreed and stated the slogan was used for the album, and his “life was forever changed.” Weaver stated that he believes that R.E.M. chose his slogan because “they knew that it would spotlight Athens, Georgia and they thought it was a fitting, worthwhile slogan to be the album title.”
Weaver also stated that he received royalties from the Album at the point of signing. When asked if he still keeps in touch with R.E.M., Weaver responded “Absolutely. I see them here around town at various events. Actually, about two weeks ago, one of the members of R.E.M. came here for dinner.” Weaver stated that he still enjoys their company and they remain friends to this day.
As a part of the 25th Anniversary celebration, R.E.M. invited everyone to a listening and viewing party at the 40 Watt Club on October 21 to commemorate the 25th year of the Automatic for the People album. The invitation was distributed through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Weaver also explained that prior to the listening party, R.E.M.’s official website , encouraged everyone to come eat at Weaver D’s. Weaver stated that he attended the listening party and enjoyed reminiscing about the album that changed his life. This album title put Weaver D’s on the map just like R.E.M. put Athens on the map. Twenty-five years later, Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods continues to serve delicious soul food and delivers the coined phrase “Automatic for the People” to its loyal customers. Dexter Weaver couldn’t have said it any better, “Automatic” is forever.