Former R.E.M. members Peter Buck and Mike Mills teamed up last night (December 14) to mark the 40th anniversary of their debut EP ‘Chronic Town’
The duo performed at the 40 Watt club in the band’s hometown of Athens in Georgia with a house band, which included The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson and Sven Pipien, as well as Screaming Trees’ Barrett Martin on drums.
The show saw tribute performances from the likes of Fred Armisen, Hootie & The Blowfish’s Darius Rucker, Patti Smith Group’s Lenny Kaye and Indigo Girls on a host of tracks which included ‘Chronic Town’ ‘Gardening At Night’, ‘Orange Crush’ and ‘Crush With Eyeliner’.
The concert, which saw proceeds go to non-profit body Planned Parenthood, ended with a cover of Big Star’s ‘September Gurls’. You can view footage of the gig below.
Meanwhile, Peter Buck recently opened up about whether he would ever want an R.E.M. reunion.
The band broke up on September 21, 2011, posting a statement on Instagram that said “as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band,” adding that they were walking away with “a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished”.
Buck recently reaffirmed that the band’s split is permanent.
“When the non-musical stuff became so intense, it took away some of the pleasure for me,” Buck said, reflecting on the band’s success after they got “really big”.
“It’s just the stuff where you kind of wake up and go, ‘God, I don’t really want to have my picture taken today. And I don’t really want to pretend to be an actor in some video where I can’t act’.”
He continued: “I loved playing Glastonbury and playing in front of lots of people and selling multiple copies of records, but it was never the reason I did it.
“And when we got to the point where we decided that it was the end, it felt like a great shared experience. I wouldn’t change it, but I’m not going to go back to it.”
Last year, lead singer Michael Stipe also shut down any suggestions R.E.M. could reunite.