It happened today, and it's the end of the world as we know it: R.E.M. (considered by many to have invented Electro-Lite pop) have announced their retirement from the music industry.
"It's a bad day for music," said Rockville editor, Wendel Gee. "The aftermath of REM leaving New York to drive all the way to Reno will see a radio free europe until the day is done. I will lay a man-sized wreath on their discogrophy."
Michael Stipe, the superman and lead singer said REM wanted to go out with a bang and blame the fall on mental tiredness.
"At my most beautiful I had a suspicion everybody hurts when I played my radio songs," said Stipe. "It left me bittersweet. Me and Pete Buck needed to see the great beyond and not this imitation of life that music is, even though it is the one I love. It left me a hollow man."
Never having had a number one single, REM decided they can't get there from here, and talk about the passion that has left them, the wanderlust that made them find the river and go nightswimming.
"Oh my heart beat like an animal as my tongue sang my finest worksongs like E-Bow the Letter," said Stipe. "But my get up and go has got up and gone. I cannot stand how the music industry has become supernatural, superserious and has some strange currencies these days. We saw how the west was won, and where it got us. You could say I've been losing my religion."
The other members of the band have taken the news well.
"It's been coming since Shiny Happy People, the pop song. '89 I think it was," said Pete Buck. "I'm now going to open a restaurant in Überlin called Orange Crush With Eyeliner. I do some wicked duck dishes; mine smell like honey while others smell of lotus flowers. I think Mike Mills is returning to physics to colour an electron blue."
Fans are distraught. "I was near wild heaven when they sang #9 Dream," said superfan, Dan Driver, 82. "I guess, finally, the sidewinder sleeps tonite and no longer a daysleeper. If they ever reform, I'll queue for tickets even if it's raining. I'll take the rain to get tickets."
Stipe had one final message for fans.
"Think of us when you see the man on the moon," he said. "All the best."