I was going to call this blog post blog “REM RIP: It’s the end of the world as they know it”, but today’s Times has more or less the same headline on its front page. A rock band breaking up rarely makes the headlines in either the quality papers or the main TV or radio news, a fact which demonstrates how influential Mr Stipe and co were.
Even though they’ve been around for over 30 years I have to say I was surprised when I heard the news as I thought REM were one of those bands that go on and on forever, like U2, the Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, AD/DC, Jethro Tull, Rush and (dare I say it) Marillion. But to be fair they were a bit past their sell-by date and their last couple of albums were fairly substandard.
Their lead singer certainly won’t be short of a buck (no pun intended), as the royalties from his work will no doubt earn him a regular stipend (pun very much intended).
So what now? As they’re now finally out of time will they retire to the great beyond and have an orange crush or two with the man on the moon and other shiny happy people while reminiscing on maps and legends or will they go nightswimming?