REM Briefly Reunite Original Lineup, Become Worldís Greatest Wedding Band

Published: 2005-10-12
Guests at Dewitt Burton's October 8 wedding reception received the ultimate party favour when the original four members of REM unexpectedly reunited on stage for a surprise seven-song set. The reunion, held in the glamorous confines of the Kingpins Bowl & Brew in the band's hometown of Athens, GA, was in honour of Burton, who toils by day as an REM guitar tech.

The performance also marked just the second time since his 1997 departure that original drummer Bill Berry had played with the other members of REM. "Nobody really knew it was going to happen," said Kingpins owner Ed Connolly. "As a matter of fact, I think it was fairly hit and miss up until the time it happened. I heard they didn't know if Bill was even going to make it, and I don't know if they had a chance to rehearse."

The band played seven songs at the reception (setting up while the actual wedding band took a break), beginning the surprise set with "Sitting Still", followed by "Don't Go Back To Rockville", "Wolves, Lower", "Begin The Begin", "The One I Love", "Permanent Vacation" and "Radio Free Europe".

"I couldn't believe it," said Connolly. "I was transfixed. I heard the count in and then 'Sitting Still,' and by the time they got to the first chorus, it was packed shoulder to shoulder. The beauty is that it was in Athens on a warm Saturday night, with the band on the floor with no production. I had three old disco mirror balls and they hung them up -- that was the extent of the lighting show."

REM would not comment on whether they are now also available for bar mitzvahs and birthdays.

Writer: Neil McDonald



Fatal error: Call to undefined function session_is_registered() in /home2/soulshi/public_html/news/newsarticle.php on line 513
Please login / register to post a personalized comment, or you may simply post as an Anonymous user.
SPEAK OUT! Post your comments about this article here.