Bill Berry and Mike Mills joined Peter Buck during his solo gig for a rendition of '(Don't Go Back to) Rockville'
R.E.M staged a partial reunion last night (November 14) during a Peter Buck solo show in the band’s hometown of Athens, Georgia.
Rolling Stone reports that both drummer Bill Berry – who quit the band in 1997 – and bassist Mike Mills joined the guitarist for a version of REM’s ‘(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville’, from their 1984 album ‘Reckoning’.
Frontman Michael Stipe was apparently spotted in the crowd, but declined to join his ex-bandmates on stage at the 40 Watt club. Click above to watch the performance.
REM announced their split in September 2011. In May of this year, Mike Mills insisted the band have “zero” plans to reform. Speaking to Rolling Stone, he was adamant that he and his bandmates would not be tempted to reunite in the future. “The idea of breaking up and not reforming for a reunion tour is kind of attractive to us,” he said. “I doubt you’ll see us touring as REM again. On the other hand, I just played with Peter [Buck, guitarist] in New York City the other night, so fun things do happen.”
He added: “Absolutely nobody can predict the future. But right now, there are zero plans for an REM reunion. Absolutely zero. But the future is a strange place. We could all be hit by a meteor tomorrow, but I would consider it highly unlikely.”
Forming in 1980, the band released their 15th album, ‘Collapse Into Now’ in 2011, which followed 2008’s ‘Accelerate’. R.E.M‘s breakthrough record ‘Out Of Time’ – which featured the hit singles ‘Losing My Religion’ and ‘Shiny Happy People’ – was released in 1991 and saw them achieve global acclaim. It was followed a year after by ‘Automatic For The People’, which, like ‘Out Of Time’, was Number One in the UK Albums Chart.