It's the End of the World and We Know It.
We're Losing Our Religion.
Our Pilgrimage is OVER.
Late Wednesday, R.E.M.  -- the quintessential band of my youth, the chief architects (along with U2) of my teenage world-view expansion project, the soundtrack to so many carefree summers and college road trips -- did the unthinkable: It broke up.
According to the official R.E.M. Web site:
"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.
Lead singer Michael Stipe had this to say:
"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. ...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."
You can read more from R.E.M.'s three original members -- Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck -- about HOW THEY COULD DO THIS TO US by clicking HERE