David Greenberger is the man behind the Duplex Planet, a small magazine that has become an underground phenomenon and that has spawned several CDs, a comic book adaptation, a book collection, and other such ephemera. Greenberger has also been a regular on NPR's All Things Considered.
Greenberger started the magazine in 1979, when, having just graduated from art school, he obtained a job as the activities director at the Duplex Nursing Home in Massachusetts. Soon after landing the job, Greenberger abandoned the paints and brushes, however, and found his lifelong creative endeavor. In the Duplex Planet, he documents his conversations with residents of the nursing home, in which he asks them such questions as "How close can you get to a penguin?" or "What's more important, food or romance?" and records their often surprising and clever answers. Greenberger has also undertaken readings with Terry Adams of NRBQ on musical accompaniment, and many of these performances have been released on CD. In addition, he has toured and performed with Birdsongs of the Mesozoic.
The poetry of nursing home resident Ernest Noyes Brookings has been released on a series of CDs with groups such as XTC, Yo La Tengo, and others contributing music. Michael Stipe hired Duplex resident Ed Rogers to create the lettering for R.E.M.'s Out of Time album. (Greenberger himself has designed album covers for NRBQ.) The Duplex Planet Radio Hour, a recording of performances with Terry Adams in Brooklyn, NY (recorded in 1994), was released on CD in 2002.