In 1993, I had an exhibition at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, hometown of the band R.E.M. Apparently several members of the band, including Michael Stipe, their iconic lead singer/songwriter, attended the exhibit during the course of its run appreciating both my work AND the fact that I created it on behalf of conservation advocacy.
Surprisingly, they went further by contacting me directly to express their support of what I was doing with my art, and they forwarded me some uniquely packaged CDs of their albums with handwritten notes. I had always loved R.E.M.'s music, but was amazed that such a hugely popular group found the time to reach out in this fashion. Over the years, I also received newer releases from them as they became available.
I am sorry to learn that they have chosen to quit the business, but it is great to know they do it remaining friends with each other and by mutual decision. Not all rockers want to tour forever, being "on-the-road" is a grueling exercise. I would like to wish them the best with the rest of their lives and to thank them for being a GREAT band that not only delivered ROCK, but did so with intelligent, sophisticated lyrics.
Oh yes, what are my favorite songs? It is impossible not to like their "classics": "Everybody Hurts", "Losing My Religion", "Man On The Moon", "It's The End Of The World", and "Fall On Me" to highlight a few. However, the songs that resonated in me for other reasons are "Stand" because of its content/intent and "Crush With Eyeliner" just because IT IS ROCK; wicked guitar!