and I don’t feel fine.
because REM, my favourite band of all time have decided to call it a day.
“A wise man once said–‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing.
And now we’re going to walk away from it.
That’s what REM’s Michael Stipe said in a statement on their
earlier today. After an impressive 31 year career as one of the world’s most successful alternative rock bands, they have decided not to continue. They say that they made the decision amicably, with each other’s best interests at heart. This is an honourable way to end a career, and I’m sure its how every band would wish to do it. They have enjoyed making music as much as their fans have enjoyed listening to it, and have never been shy about expressing their gratitude.
I began listening to REM when I was eight years old thanks to my sister’s now 24 (or whatever version of the tape was out then.) I loved going to a particular restaurant in town because they had ‘losing my religion’ on the dukebox and I used to play it as often as I could. I didn’t buy my first REM album ‘green’ until I was ten. I was obsessed with ‘stand’ which is on that album. When I listen to it now, I’m surprised how particular songs appealed to me, since the lyrics are bizarre to say the least! I think I quickly got on well with my now brother in law because he used to lend me his REM cds, and later gave me some to keep.
I was lucky enough to see the band play live twice. The first time was a gig in Lansdowne Road when I was thirteen, and later in Ardgillan Castle in 2005, when I won a radio competition. Michael Stipe is a fascinating character, and very interesting to watch live. He is quite shy but the music speaks for itself. Those were two of the best gigs I’ve ever been too. I hoped I would see them play live again, but all I can do now is be thankful that I went when I did.
REM will be sorely missed, but at least they have a huge back catalogue to keep us entertained. I think there’s even some rare recordings and releases I haven’t managed to get my hands on yet, so I still have new REM music to discover, and I can’t wait.