I loved my 17 years with R.E.M. but I'm ready to reflect assess and move on to a different phase of my life. The four of us will continue our close friendship and I look forward to hearing their future efforts as the world's biggest R.E.M. fan.
To cement a new friendship especially between foreigners or persons of a different social world a spark with which both were secretly charged must fly from person to person and cut across the accidents of place and time.
I can tell you dearest friend that if it became known how much friendship love and a world of human and spiritual references I have smuggled into these three movements the adherents of programme music - should there be any left - would go mad with joy.
They took their meals together and it was remarked on such occasions when the friendship of animals is put to a hard test that they never quarrelled or disputed the possession of a favourite fruit with each other.
Working with people the musical part is one thing but the personal part is totally different and just as critical. If the friendship is there and it's a lasting friendship then it will take care of itself.
Ray Bradbury is for many reasons the most influential writer in my life. Throughout our long friendship Ray supplied not only his terrific stories but a grand model of what a writer could be should be and yet rarely is: brilliant and charming and accessible willing to tolerate and to teach happy to inspire but also to be inspired.
When Ted Williams was here inducted into the Hall of Fame 37 years ago he said he must have earned it because he didn't win it because of his friendship with the writers. I guess in that way I'm proud to be in this company that way.
In those early years in New York when I was a stranger in a big city it was the companionship and later friendship which I was offered in the Linnean Society that was the most important thing in my life.