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Published: 2011/09/21

R.E.M. No More

R.E.M., formed in 1980 when Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry came together in Athens, GA. Seventeen years later Berry departed to become a Georgia farmer. Today, the group has announced that it is calling it quits.

A statement from the band reads, “To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.” The three remaining band members then offered their individual thoughts on this decision.

MIKE MILLS

“During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, ‘what next’? Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together.

“We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word. Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this—there’s no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart. The time just feels right.”

MICHAEL STIPE

“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.

“I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.

“We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It’s been amazing.”

PETER BUCK

“One of the things that was always so great about being in R.E.M. was the fact that the records and the songs we wrote meant as much to our fans as they did to us. It was, and still is, important to us to do right by you. Being a part of your lives has been an unbelievable gift. Thank you.

“Mike, Michael, Bill, Bertis, and I walk away as great friends. I know I will be seeing them in the future, just as I know I will be seeing everyone who has followed us and supported us through the years. Even if it’s only in the vinyl aisle of your local record store, or standing at the back of the club: watching a group of 19 year olds trying to change the world.”

Comments

There are 5 comments associated with this post

J September 21, 2011, 17:46:39

Sad day. :: cranks it up even louder ::

timmy September 21, 2011, 20:11:52

An end to a brilliant career. R.E.M is one of the all time greats, and they will always be.

shiny happy person September 22, 2011, 07:56:35

Advice to anyone who is saddened by this news: listen to “what’s the frequency kenneth” anymore news about other NON JAMBANDS!?

Adrian September 22, 2011, 12:25:27

Thanks for everything, guys! REALLY love watching the old video of what looks like kids jamming in the basement and just having a blast together.

Rudy September 22, 2011, 16:11:43

I was glad to see jambands.com post the news about R.E.M. The jamband genre isn’t a secluded music scene; it’s the meeting point of many different musical types. Reading interviews with various jamband musicians, it is clear they were influenced by acts that fall clearly outside of the jamband world. It’s encouraging when established artists and groups realize the potential the jamband community has for supporting their work.

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