R.E.M. announced today that they are calling it quits after more than 30 years. This is just a quick blog entry to say "Thanks guys, for all the great music". (You know, in case Michael Stipe is one of my 18 followers...)
I'm not the most manic R.E.M. fan around, but I have all of their studio CDs and love their music. I only saw them in concert once, in 1986 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS (opener - Camper Von Beethoven). Should have seen them with Sonic Youth on their "Monster" tour, but didn't. Shoot.
What strikes me more is this seems like the end of a significant period of my life. I started college in 1982, and R.E.M. was emerging as a musical force in the 'college music' genre. They seemed to be the foundation of the sound that became college radio, more than Los Lobos and Talking Heads, and way darned more then Duran Duran. It feels like R.E.M. got their start at the same time I got mine.
The Beatles, the Who, Pink Floyd - they were all adults playing music that youth was listening to. R.E.M. was us. Same generation. They grew as we did, or at least that's how it felt.
And now they have retired(?) broken up(?) quit(?). Decided that it's time to end with grace (yeah, that's it). 30 years is a right long time for a band to stick together and keep making great music. So, yeah, I guess it's the right time.
So, thanks guys. Thanks for the great music, and being a major part of the soundtrack to my life.
Think I'll listen to Murmur on the drive in to work tomorrow...