Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Learned of R.E.M. Split via Text Message


Story by Anne Erickson

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke opens up about R.E.M. split

R.E.M.’s recent split left many fans chanting, “It’s the end of the world as we know it!” Even Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is among the mourners. Yorke is a fan of R.E.M. and has been since his teenage years. He first met up with R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe when Radiohead opened on the alternative rock band’s mammoth Monster tour in 1995.

Apparently, the two are so close that Stipe sent Yorke a text message, warning him of the impending break-up, reports Rolling Stone. Yorke insisted that he wasn’t at all shocked by the text: “I think it was kind of going one way for a while. I just wanted to check that Michael was alright,” he told the magazine.

Speaking more with Rolling Stone, Yorke reminisced about seeing his first R.E.M. show during their Green tour at London’s Wembley Arena in June, 1989. “Michael told me later that he had a bad time at that show, throwing things around after,” he said. “The first time I really saw them properly was when we toured with them… Then I was watching Michael every night.”

York added that opening for R.E.M. was his first time playing arena-sized venues. “That was the first time I’d seen that in a big environment,” Yorke said. “You see it with little bands in small places. But to do that in a large space and get away with it, without using any tricks, was cool. I’ve seen the same thing in Neil Young – standing there, stamping his foot, looking down as he plays, just letting that do it. It’s very purist. It ain’t Lady Gaga.”




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