It’s the End of the World As We Know It

I apologize for the lapse in time since posting. One thing I am finding less and less of is free time even with one in college and only three remaining in the house! Time I had some time alone!

One of the classics of my high school years, this song was immensely popular, even with non-R.E.M. fans, and was used in many different contexts.  I could play it, but apparently not correctly. There is definitely some classic Peter Buck chords going on in this one. And to me a surprising shift in the verse.

I’m changing up the chord finder I’m using. I probably ought to take pictures of the chords–the chord finder website I was using apparently is not working properly at the moment. I am sorry for that. There is a lot of time and effort that has been expended there.

So a good video of Peter Buck playing this song is below. It is from 1989, so it is contemporary.

Here’s what I think is going on from the video.

Verse: EmG, Em7, Cm7

Bridge to Chorus:  A#, Am

Chorus: G, D, Am, Cm7

At end of chorus:

Bridge: G, C*, G, C*, F (with some Fsus4 thrown in)

*probably the C6/E



I’ll get around to trying to record this and insert that video right here!


Further Reading

Possible Lyrics



9 thoughts on “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”

    1. Thanks, Rich. Glad you like the blog.

      I am going to try to be better about adding to it. It takes a lot of time to create a blog post. I have about 5 drafts right now not including Kohoutek which I published today. They all go back to November 2016!

      I am mostly waiting to get a suitable YouTube video of me playing the song, but that takes even more time–sometimes I waste all my allotted time to end up with no usable recordings for various reasons (mostly, I am not a good guitarist and can never get through a song without some glaring mistakes). I’ve decided to start posting some without the videos. Hopefully, I’ll get back to record to the videos in time.

      Happy New Year!


      1. I’ve got one about to go to college and another one is high school. I know all about trying to find time while raising a family. 🙂 My New Years resolution this year is to try to play more guitar. In that vein, I’d be happy to help you create this blog, like editing or creating images of chords. I was a copy editor in another life, so I’d be happy to help with that, or double-checking anything before you post. If you don’t mind some feedback, one suggestion I have is having the links to the chords open in a separate browser tab or just posting the chords in tablature form. I find tablature easier to read and you don’t have to leave the blog page to look at them. Just a thought, though. I’m just glad you do this as I don’t have the greatest ear and it’s hard for me to figure out songs without having someone give me a glimpse of how it’s done. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, the college thing is certainly new to us with a Freshman this year! We’ve got 3 more behind him including a junior in high school.

        I appreciate the offer on the help. I’ll have to think about how I can best use the help. That would be great.

        See what you think about Kohoutek which I posted a couple days ago–I tried to do that in a more lasting way by putting pictures of the chords in the blog post itself. The links I was using were unreliable. I am disappointed they disappeared along with many of the YouTube videos I referenced (probably for licensing reasons). I am trying to cite the name and date of the concert so people can find the videos later.

        Also, in opening the chords in another window or tab, I always just right click to open. I am not sure whether there is an option here for allowing me to change how the reader interacts with the links. I know there is a web convention to have links open in the same window since the user can control that functionality. I can see that leaving the blog and having to come back to it is a pain.

        I can try to pick up the slack and do more “tutorial” type videos or lessons–I am not a teacher and do not have a microphone for anything like that. But I can see how it is very helpful. I’ve seen great ones on the internet with chords and tab right on the screen. I do not have the production capability!

        Happy New Year!


  1. I was wondering if there’s a way to access your buddy’s (Fast Ocular) instructional videos on how to play REM songs. His profile is still up but the videos are not available. I requested an invite to his wordpress site (unravelling the sounds of Peter Buck) to no avail. Those videos were a great resource and miss them! Thanks for any guidance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I emailed him almost a year ago when someone brought to my attention that his videos were down. He did not respond. I notice that the videos are not actually gone if you still have the links–the ones in my blog are still working.

      I started the Kohoutek blog post in November of 2016 (and have now just published it!) and linked to Fast Occular’s video of that song. It is still there.

      I am not sure what happened to him, but obviously it is something he wishes to keep private and I respect that. It is not easy to put this stuff out there and deal with the criticism that sometimes comes. Also, it could be something else in his personal life. I wish him the best and thank him for all of his insight and guidance he provided on trying to figure out and document these songs. I hope when Peter Buck and all of us are gone, this will be some lasting tribute to his guitar method/approach.


      1. Thanks for your reply, David. I totally understand the thick skin it takes to put your work out there—there’s always a detractor, no matter how beneficent one’s intentions are. that makes me all the more grateful for people like yourself who dare to share their passion with others. It really is a wonderfully resource and community. I felt that Fast Ocular was part of that, but also understand his choice. In lieu of his very detailed lessons, I will try and learn from your play-throughs on YouTube by slowing down the playback and watching your fingering. And yes, I noticed I could link to Fast Ocular through my favorited videos—unfortunately I only favorited a few, as I never thought he would disappear and remove the videos. I will check out your kohoutek blog. Love your site. Thanks for being here!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll just add my voice to the chorus here. First, it’s great to see some fresh content on this site, David. I used to do this kind of thing for a band called Lucero, and I know how much time and effort it takes, especially when you might have trouble getting error-free takes. I’m not as good as you, and that was always my biggest problem. Sometimes I thought about just breaking the songs up into pieces to record that way. Anyhow, I really appreciate the work you do here, and I hope there’s more to come.

    Second, I had the same experience as pharmacove trying to connect with Fast Ocular. I agree that, whatever his reasons for going underground, we should respect them. Still I can’t help being driven a little crazy by knowing that there’s a treasure trove of Buck guitar wisdom out there, and I can’t get at it. One tip for folks: I have been able to find links for like 35 of his songs by searching “fast ocular” and playlist.


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