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R.E.M. breaks up

R.E.M., which announced its split today, in the early years. Peter Buck (left), Mike Mills, Bill Berry and Michael Stipe. Berry left the band in 1997. Photo: Sandra Lee-Phipps

R.E.M., which announced its split today, in the early years. Peter Buck (left), Mike Mills, Bill Berry and Michael Stipe. Berry left the band in 1997. Photo: Sandra Lee-Phipps

It’s a day many thought would never come. It looked like R.E.M. was in it for the long haul, but that changed today.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and Athens mainstays released a statement via their website today:

“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.” R.E.M.

The site also includes statements from each of the band members, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck.

Those three, along with drummer Bill Berry, started the band in 1980. By 1991, the band had scored four Top 10 hits and inspired a generation of musicians.

Check out the Buzz for more.

170 comments Add your comment

REM

September 21st, 2011
2:06 pm

FIRST? REM is the only good thing to come out of Athens.

SteveGR

September 21st, 2011
2:08 pm

Ho Hum. Now we will not get another decade of dull, lifeless music.

Dragon

September 21st, 2011
2:08 pm

Second? Crap. Thanks for the good tunes!

G'Vegas Dawg

September 21st, 2011
2:09 pm

Wow. Better to hang it up than to stay in a produced crappy music just for the sake of staying together.

G'Vegas Dawg

September 21st, 2011
2:10 pm

….and produce crappy….

P B Orr

September 21st, 2011
2:10 pm

They’ve been done since Berry left, 14 years ago. Never did a band more miss a drummer.

What's the frequency Larry?

September 21st, 2011
2:10 pm

About time. Now if a few others (I’m looking at you, Rolling Stones) would follow their lead instead of coasting along on the same old hits from 20 or 30 years ago.

wm mcnall

September 21st, 2011
2:11 pm

hasn’t been relevant since the 80’s

SunnyD

September 21st, 2011
2:11 pm

How bout Zepplin??

MJ

September 21st, 2011
2:11 pm

And this is breaking news because……

CookieDoughBoy

September 21st, 2011
2:12 pm

I like to swim in the ocean!!

Sync-2-da-noize

September 21st, 2011
2:13 pm

When will we stop buying plasma TVs?

BrokerPsych

September 21st, 2011
2:14 pm

Should be into the frontier. Montana, Idaho. Running free. Slowly.

JDawg1785

September 21st, 2011
2:14 pm

Terrible news, but at least we have the music. Thanks for the memories, R.E.M.!

me

September 21st, 2011
2:14 pm

I love R.E.M. thanks for great music!

Sunbrunt1988

September 21st, 2011
2:15 pm

Sipping koolade. Listening to Oh My Heart. I am sad. Lonely. Not confused.

Stinky Athens Hippy

September 21st, 2011
2:15 pm

dude…this sucks.

Let the Big Dawg Eat

September 21st, 2011
2:15 pm

13th?
Go Dawgs1

MovingVanSham

September 21st, 2011
2:16 pm

get on your slippers. leapt at the screen. Charlie Sheen?

Lenny Bruce

September 21st, 2011
2:16 pm

…………….inspired a generation of musicians

Yeah to not get a job when they finish at UGA and still be trying to make it big in their 40s & 50s while playing in dive bars around the south.

Jimmyak 92

September 21st, 2011
2:16 pm

They still are a great band. They are the best music to run to

MovingVanSham

September 21st, 2011
2:16 pm

Dawgs bad. schhol bad.

Lynn

September 21st, 2011
2:17 pm

Thanks for all the great music, R.E.M.!

Suturedog

September 21st, 2011
2:18 pm

I bought an Ipad for $500. who is the man?? I be da man!! $1.99 apps for all.

Music Man 55

September 21st, 2011
2:18 pm

This is total bull****. These guys are doing exactly what the Eagles, The Police and others have done, i.e. announce a breakup then several years down the road do a “Reunion Tour” that charges very high prices for tix, etc. This is the new marketing scheme of the Rock n’ Roll set since because of the internet, etc. they can’t sell records like they used to in the 80’s and their is definitely no radio or video play anymore. I find it repulsive, quite frankly. OK REM….promise us you won’t pull this sh** on us in about 5 to 10 years when you need the cash….huh??

Harvard

September 21st, 2011
2:19 pm

I went to Harvard. You did not. You lose.

Marshall Stacks

September 21st, 2011
2:19 pm

Noooooooooooooooooooo! Dammit. This is sad news. True, the band really ended the day Bill Berry called it quits, but the last few albums had been a great return to form. I’m going to miss them but celebrate the great music they’ve left us. They touched a lot of lives, influenced a number of bands, and stayed true to their pursuits on a social level. Okay, so “Shiny Happy People” was a turd, but go listen to their first five albums if you’re even wondering why you should care.

“A little bit of uh-huh and a whole lotta oh yeah!”

Mike S

September 21st, 2011
2:19 pm

Why are people so mean spirited? Are their lifes that bad that they want to drag everyone down with them? Or is it just because they can do it anonymously?

Harvard

September 21st, 2011
2:19 pm

My life is that bad!!

Shawny

September 21st, 2011
2:20 pm

Kenneth told them the frequency, and they dialed it in.

Pearl Jam

September 21st, 2011
2:21 pm

Turtle's in Athens

September 21st, 2011
2:21 pm

They’ll play together again some day I bet. In all likelihood no reputable label will back another album anymore. That’s okay. I’m sure they have as much money as they could have ever dreamed of and they made their mark as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Thanks REM!

Big Boi

September 21st, 2011
2:22 pm

So sad. Me cry.

Shoot

September 21st, 2011
2:22 pm

That’s too bad. Their last two albums were great. Something I couldn’t say about a few of the ones that came out in the late 90’s early 00’s. They really got back to their rock roots with those last two.

Big Boi

September 21st, 2011
2:23 pm

Last two albums = BAD

Big Boi

September 21st, 2011
2:23 pm

Mike S

September 21st, 2011
2:24 pm

Harvard- at least we know your story. Hope it gets better.

Harvard

September 21st, 2011
2:25 pm

It is always better for me. I went to Harvard!!!

so what, who cares

September 21st, 2011
2:26 pm

don’t go back to rockville….if they broke up in the late 80’s they’d have gone down as one of the all-time greats….

SAWB

September 21st, 2011
2:28 pm

Man at one time these guys were awesome. I know in the last few years they have been kind of lame, but at one time they changed music. There would have never been a category called Alternative Music if it weren’t for them and the early albums from Automatic for the People and back were really the soundtrack for a generation. I mean if you grew up in the mid-eighties these guys ruled the air waves. However, I must admit as far as I am concerned they might as well have broken up in 1995.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

September 21st, 2011
2:28 pm

Enjoyed their music for years. Good band. Thanks for the memories.

david c

September 21st, 2011
2:29 pm

Bono and the Edge, take note.

sad day

September 21st, 2011
2:29 pm

sad day…nothing else to say.

Kenneth's Frequency

September 21st, 2011
2:30 pm

Looks like Driver 8 is taking a permanent break….

david c

September 21st, 2011
2:30 pm

Although I have been seriously disappointed as of late, there is still nothing better than Fables of the Reconstruction, or Murmur. Still go to albums in my collection.

DunwoodyDawg

September 21st, 2011
2:30 pm

Sad to see it come to an end, but I respect the decision. I would rather see this, and old tired guys trying to rock in their 60’s like say The Stones.

dood

September 21st, 2011
2:31 pm

Great band in the 80s and early 90s…I’m glad to see them go out rather than keep on cranking out boring, irrelevant sounds like so many others.

SAWB

September 21st, 2011
2:32 pm

It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

WhogivesA Fook

September 21st, 2011
2:32 pm

Seriously, thought they’d been broke up for years. They haven’t done shiznit in years and even then they weren’t that good. Only reason they made it so long is because they appealed to a sect within a generation of change.
Once met Stipe at a pool hall in Athens, talk about a jerk who can’t sing live. Amazing they still have followers. They should feel blessed that they will be remembered at all.

Mark

September 21st, 2011
2:32 pm

Thanks, REM!! Only good thing to come out of Athens? Stupid comment. The B52’s, WIdespread Panic, and numerous others might have issue with you.