This just in from Sid…
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS ON THE BREAK-UP of REM. September 21, 9pm
(consider this a blog…kinda…sorta…)
Ex-Long Ryders drummer Greg Sowders sent me some CDs for my 56th (!) birthday and arriving home after coming off a short tour of the north of England (two sold out shows, two almost sold out, one total disaster) I noticed one was Collapse Into Now by REM. Then I went on-line to get the news and I see REM have split up.
That took me by surprise! Another bit of my younger days gone forever and even my lengthy chatting with Steve Cropper (Stax-Volt hero) and John Steel (the Animals’ drummer) in Manchester airport last Saturday morning is not a strong enough cultural event to overcome my sadness at the REM split. I suppose it was time for them to disband. The last few years were not so great for them in the studio. Now I wished I had seen that last London show at the Royal Albert Hall when Liz Kershaw offered me a ticket. I would have gone but little Noah was not well at all that afternoon and felt I should stay in having seen REM a good six or seven times beforehand.
I remember going to see some ghastly headlining band at the Country Club in the SF Valley in L.A. in 1982 only because Bob Say and Ken Barnes both told tme the opening act was a southern band who sounded like The Byrds. I got there and Pylon were the opening act, REM having pulled outta the tour! So I finally saw them for the first time May 1983 at The Music Machine on Pico but I was a beer guy then and I couldn’t, for love nor money, remember much of the show at all. I can remember what they looked like onstage and I have a mental picture of them rockin’ out physically but I cannot remember how they sounded, what tunes they played or if they did a medley of Small Faces covers or what. But I do know I will miss them and note my shelf has sixteen REM albums on it counting bootlegs.
Media outlets are already, ho ho ho, saying it is the end of the world as we know it but…well, I don’t feel fine. More than a bit sad.
There is also a fine, if brief, recent interview with Sid posted at villagegreenmachine.com