R.E.M. Break Up: 'We Have Decided to Call It a Day as a Band'
R.E.M., the legendary Athens, Georgia-based rock band who ushered in the 1980s College Rock era and paved the way for the alternative and indie music movements that followed, announced their breakup on their website Wednesday, Sept. 21.
"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."
After the initial post, the band members included their own personal thoughts on calling it quits after more than three decades.
"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," wrote R.E.M.'s frontman Michael Stipe. "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."
Bassist Mike Mills helped put R.E.M.'s break-up into perspective: "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