R.E.M. calls it quits

by Jonathan on September 21, 2011

Stipe and Yorke, 1995

Stipe and Yorke, 1995

Yes, we know that this is a Radiohead site but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that after three decades, the members of R.E.M. have decided to break up. Radiohead and R.E.M. have a bit of history together that started when Thom and Co. were chosen to be the opening act for R.E.M. on their Monster tour in 1995. It was during that time that Thom Yorke and Michael Stipe became close friends; in particular, Stipe gave him advice on how to deal with the demands of being in a rock band. Thom wrote the following in a 1995 tour diary for Q Magazine:

“First gig with R.E.M. Mr. Stipe comes in before the show to say hello. ‘Hi, I’m Michael. I’m really glad you could do this. I’m a very big fan.’ Wonder how many times I will run this through my brain after today. I’ve never believed in hero worship and so on, but I have to admit to myself that I’m fighting for breath. I’ve had moments in the past two years when time has completely curved and space became a Hitchcock camera trick. At these moments, barriers seem to break in my head and I never see anything in the same way again. And for days and days all I want to do is run around jumping into people’s earshot waving my hands up and down like Bjork and pulling faces. This is one of those moments.”

“Feel 50 feet tall. Shit Shit Shit, this is R.E.M. and they really like us. No I mean they REALLY like us, they’re not just being nice. When someone you really admire gives you something you like that, your shoulders get a little lighter, you feel a little stronger, forever.”

We leave you with a few video highlights of Radiohead and R.E.M. after the jump.

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  • Ianecisneros

    such a shame they split up… well was about time anyway, 31 amazing years.
    That’s the way all music bands should end, with a decision made in a nice and meditated way. R.E..M will always be remembered by the amazing music they gave us.

  • June Tsai


  • Bec

    My parents discovered Radiohead when they saw them opening for R.E.M. In 1995, and they are now my two favorite bands. I’m happy they just called it a day on good terms. But still, I will miss them!

  • Chris Ducat

    Well they’re officially my two favorite bands now, I’ve discovered music in reverse, adored Radiohead first, then heard that Thom was a big fan (along with Neil Young, whose early work I love). I can see why now…in the past couple weeks of listening to them I’ve had their entire discography playing constantly, and all of it is good, every album has at least one (or essentially all of them, in their earlier albums especially) song that is the work of pure genius and inspiration. All of their music is that, it’s only a question of which genres of rock you enjoy, because R.E.M. has pretty much done them all.

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