Sunday, September 25, 2011
This week, R.E.M. announced they were “calling it a day” after 31 years. The band’s music has been playing in the background for some of the most important years of my life, so I’m sorry they’re ending.
Lead singer Michael Stipe is nearly a year younger than me, and there aren’t that many of my age-peers still performing. Stipe is usually referred to as “bisexual”, but he has frequently said he prefers the term “queer” because to him it better covers the nuances of sexuality. So because of all that, there’s a kind of kinship.
Then, too, I was also a fan of the liberal/progressive political activism of R.E.M. (of course). As a liberal, I liked having them on my side of issues and electoral campaigns—especially in the Reagan years, a time during which many performers didn’t want to rock the conservative boat.
The video above is a live version of “Losing My Religion” from the band’s seventh album, 1991’s Out of Time. The song reached number four on Billboard’s chart, making it their most successful single. It’s also always been one of my favourite R.E.M. songs.
And now, I’m losing my R.E.M. Sad.