Begin the Begin: R.E.M.’S Early Years by Robert Dean Lurie:
Jefferson Holt is one of the most problematic figures in R.E.M.’s history—problematic because the band members and their remaining management did their best to erase him from the R.E.M. story following their acrimonious split with him in 1996. They have been surprisingly successful in scrubbing his association with the band from the Internet, though there’s nothing to be done about the various pre-1996 R.E.M. books and articles in which Holt features prominently. As of this writing, he appears directly in just one clip on YouTube, as a participant in a 1988 video feed that went out to employees of Warner Bros. Record—the band’s then-new label. In that clip, Holt comes across as a combination of Michael Stipe and the actor James Spader. Like Stipe, he is thin and somewhat gangly and conveys a sort of quirky charm mixed with an air of slumming Southern aristocracy. With Spader he shares an owlish face that seems to be constantly suppressing a smirk, along with a sharp dress sense and an ever-present pair of spectacles. His Southern accent is of the lilting, genteel type.