Thursday, September 22, 2011

Goodbye R.E.M.




R.E.M. got me through high school in the late '80s.
Yesterday R.E.M. broke up. I never really imagined this would happen to one of my most favorite bands of all time. My dad still catches his favorite bands of the '60s and '70s live and I assumed one day, I too would be an oldie rockin' out to my fave oldie band, R.E.M. Now all I can hope for is maybe there will be reunion shows like there are for The Monkees

I have Michael Stipe to thank for getting me through high school in the 1980s. High school - the most difficult four years of my entire life. I have seen R.E.M. live about four times and always thought they were one of the best live bands ever. 

My husband and I caught them in the summer of 2008 at my most favorite Long Island venue -- Jones Beach. An outdoor concert on the beach is always a gamble and we almost lost. That evening, we were faced with the most relentless thunderstorm of the century. I mean this storm was so bad the theater was actually struck by lightning. Folks were too scared to venture back to their cars to leave the beach theater. 



It was a true, "Hell no, we won't go" situation and within a few hours I was shocked when R.E.M. hit the stage. Soaked to the bone, I danced and sang along to each and every hit as if I were 15 again. Walking to the car I remembered the time I phoned in "Superman" to our local modern rock station, WLIR. The DJ refused to play the song unless I sang it. Embarrassed, but up for the challenge, I sang a few lines of the song and the DJ granted my request. 

I was hoping to see the band perform one last time -- maybe some day. R.E.M. thank you for being such an integral part of my youth. I'm sure you've touched thousands. You will be missed.

3 comments:

Jodene said...

Wow, can you believe they broke up after all this time! Great memories!

Ms. A said...

I remember when "Losing My Religion" came out and I thought it was fantastic. Still do. The fact that I could actually understand the words, was amazing, since so much of the music out there left me going, "Huh?"

Sabrina said...

I'm a fan of some of R.E.M.'s songs, but not necessarily the band itself. I used to love watching the video to "Shiny Happy People" on VH-1 (I also had the cassette single), and "It's the End of the World As We Know It" is totally classic. I also love "Stand."

It's too bad that they broke up. Maybe they will reconsider someday - after all, my favorite band, Fleetwood Mac, has spent over 40 years breaking up and then getting back together again. Maybe it will happen for R.E.M. too. =)

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