I have exactly 7 minutes before I have to pick up Em from school. I have 7 minutes to write about REM and how they broke up today after 31 years of making music together. Thirty-one years. I have 7 minutes to write about how much that band meant to me.
I’m trying to cram a whole lot into 7 minutes, now 6.
You know that question people ask you about which five CDs you’d take with you should you find yourself stuck on some deserted island? My answer always included at least 2 REM CDs.
You know how you have your heart broken in high school or college and you’re not sure you’re going to survive it? REM got me through all of that. (Paired with the Stones, naturally.)
Recently, I asked Toby Joe if there was anyone famous who, when they pass away, their death will hit him kinda hard. My answer was Michael Stipe. I know, I know. He’s not dead. And he might do some solo stuff for us, but REM is done. Done. And I feel a little saddened by this news.
I love REM. I have so many memories wrapped up with REM, so many hours spent listening to them, I couldn’t even begin to put it all into 7 minutes, now 1.
So I won’t.
Anyway, REM’s breakup got me thinking: I can’t think of another great band (of their stature) together for that long, who didn’t lose a band member to drugs, suicide or to some other downfall. That doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist, but I can’t think of one. Can you?
I have to run. I’m late to pick up my kid. I guess it just feels a little lonely knowing it’s over.
Or maybe it’s my youth that’s over.