My favourite rock band, R.E.M, just called it a day. This was conveyed via one typically non-dramatic message on R.E.M.HQ yesterday:
"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.
On a shortlist of Sachin retiring, or the remaining Beatles or Bob Dylan popping off, this is about the worst news that I can imagine. I'm still in shock, so I'll take a day or two to collect my thoughts and hopefully return with something coherent about what this band has meant to me and why I'll always be a fan.
"It Happened Today", from their latest, and now final album: a song whose words now read like a gentle warning.