Of all the great band breakup stories my favorite has to be Pavement's, although I'm still sad that they did actually break up. In his book Perfect Sound Forever, Rob Jovanovic talked to Pavement guitarist Scott Kannberg about how the whole thing went down. The band had finished a European tour in support of Terror Twilight at the end of 1999, then repaired back to their respective houses for a few months of decompression.
"A good eight months went by before Steve [Malkmus] called out of the blue and said, 'You need to change the Web site to say we aren't a band anymore,'" Kannberg said. "'People keep asking me if we're breaking up, and you know we're not a band anymore, right?'
"I was like, 'What?' I said, 'Have you talked to the others?,' because I had talked to them and we all thought it was a break and Steve said, 'They should know.' So I said, 'You need to talk to them and say you don't want to do it anymore, and then I'll put it on the Web site.' Then he threw this hissy fit, so I called up the other guys and said, 'Steve doesn't want to do it anymore....' I still didn't put it up on the Web site."
From that same book, we learn that Courtney Love called Stephen Malkmus "the Grace Kelly of rock." Glad we got that cleared up. Watch out for those twisty highways on the French Riviera, Steve.