REM's Peter Buck and Mike Mills reunite with Bill Berry

REM, back in the day: 1984
REM, back in the day: 1984 (Image credit: Laura Levine/Corbis)

For REM fans, it was three-fourths of the reunion they'd been hoping for: Peter Buck, Mike Mills and one-time band drummer Bill Berry jammed together Monday night in Athens, Georgia.

Berry played drums on a pair of covers: The Beatles' The Ballad Of John And Yoko and The McCoys' Hang On Sloopy. (Nothing too tricky, but hey, it's the spirit that counts.)

The almost-REM reunion took place at an appropriate location, the 40 Watt Club - the venue where the band got their start almost 30 years ago.

Joining Berry, Buck and Mills were former Dream Syndicate frontman Steve Wynn, Linda Pitmon and Scott McCaughey of Seattle's The Young Fresh Fellows.

Bill Berry quit REM in 1997 after suffering a brain aneurism while performing with the band in Switzerland in 1995. Since then, he's maintained a low profle, farming and playing occasionally on other artists' records.

Berry last performed with REM in 2007 during their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. (Message to band: keep that man behind the kit and let's have a real reunion!)

Joe Bosso

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.