Michael Stipe Turned Down Lucrative Offer To Reunite R.E.M. For Private Gig

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January 19, 2018 | 11:10am EST

Michael Stipe turned down a money is no object offer to reunite R.E.M. for a private one off gig.
Bandmates Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck amicably split in 2011, although they have teamed up to promote a 25th anniversary reissue of their beloved 1992 album Automatic for the People.
Michael says that a fan who works booking artists for private parties sounded him out about staging a reunion, but he turned him down flat.
“Some guy said to me last night at a cocktail party: ‘I book things for private parties. How much money would it take to put the band together for three songs? No one would ever know about it,'” he told The Guardian newspaper. “I said: ‘There’s not enough money in the world.'”
However, the fan later told Michael he was glad he didn’t accept the offer as it proved he “couldn’t be bought”.
Explaining R.E.M.’s decision to split up, the 58-year-old rocker said he and his bandmates wanted to call it a day on their own terms rather than struggle on half-heartedly.
“We had fulfilled our contract and it had become evident to us that it was time to either let it devolve into silliness, which none of us wanted, or make the difficult decision of walking away from it on our own terms and let that be that,” he said.
Bassist Mike Mills, 59, has said that watching U2 perform made him consider touring again, but that he felt he was too old for the rigours of a full tour.
“I went to see U2 not so long ago,” he told British newspaper The Times. “For the first two songs I thought, ‘Man, it could be me up there.’ Then about halfway through I thought, ‘But I’d have to do it all over the following night.’ And by the end of the concert I thought, ‘Thank God I’m not doing it any more.”

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