September 5, 2006
R.E.M. reunites with drummer for induction
By Jonathan Cohen
NEW YORK (Billboard) - R.E.M. will perform three songs with
original drummer Bill Berry to celebrate its induction into the
Georgia Music Hall of Fame, to be held September 16 in Atlanta.
Berry has played only three times with his longtime
colleagues since exiting the band in 1997, most prominently at
the October 2005 wedding of R.E.M. guitar tech Dewitt Burton.
At that performance, the foursome played a seven-song set
of classic early material, including "Sitting Still," "Radio
Free Europe" and "Wolves, Lower." In April, Berry joined
vocalist Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike
Mills to perform R.E.M.'s "Country Feedback" at an Athens, Ga.,
show by Buck's side band, the Minus 5.
Following the Hall of Fame induction, R.E.M. will end a
year-long hiatus and hit the studio to begin work on the
follow-up to 2004's critically maligned "Around the Sun." That
album debuted at No. 13 on The Billboard 200.
In the meantime, the band's first five years will be
celebrated with the CD/DVD package "And I Feel Fine," due
September 12 via I.R.S./Capitol. The collection includes the
first authorized release of a number of long-bootlegged rare