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R.E.M. joined onstage by first producers

R.E.M. jam with old buds
R.E.M. jam with old buds

R.E.M. found themselves back with old friends Tuesday night, as Mitch Easter and Don Dixon, who produced and engineered the band's first albums, joined the group onstage in North Carolina.

The band's surprise introduction of Easter and Dixon for a version of the song Sitting Still during the encore was an instant highlight of the tour for R.E.M. and fans alike. "We figured out before the show that the last time those two guys attended an R.E.M. show together was 1984 at the Park Center in Charlotte," manager Bertis Downs posted yesterday. "They sat in on a song that helped put the band on the proverbial map, and the extra guitars in the hands of those dear friends was a very special moment and sound and memory indeed. It was a raucous and rocking show with a hot, sweaty crowd and an inspired band playing one of the best shows of the tour so far (but it is early yet)."

Things got even more raucous when guitarist Johnny Marr, supporting R.E.M. as a member of Modest Mouse, came out to perform Fall On Me with the band.

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.