R.E.M. calls it quits

21 Sep

I still remember lying on the beanbag in my parents’ basement after one in a string of particularly uneventful days of jr. high. My sisters had control of the television and they were likely waiting for another episode of “You Can’t Do Than on Television” and already had Nickolodeon dialed in. There was this goofy, new wave talk show called Livewire that was one part Donahue, one part American Bandstand. That day, they had this up and coming band from Georgia and it was one of those moments where my life changed forever. Something about that band was mysterious, yet instantly familiar and, even to this teenage metalhead, unassailably, unquestionably GOOD. Not just GOOD. REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GOOD. Of course, back then, if you really liked a band and you were 13 and living in a place like Grand Haven, MI, you couldn’t hear them on the radio, couldn’t go on the internet and learn about them. I just filed them away in my memory bank and waited. Within a couple of years, LAV and X-105 were playing the heck out of “Fables of the Reconstruction” and soon after they joined U2 as the first “Alternative” bands to really break big, doing so a good four years before Nirvana broke. 15 years of mediocrity has dulled the legend a bit, but now that they’ve broken up, here’s hoping people remember them for what they were–the best band in the world for the better part of a decade.

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