R.E.M. guitarist faces "air rage'' trial

By | October 29, 2001 at 12:00 AM

R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck has been ordered to stand trial Nov. 12 accused in an alleged air rage incident.

Buck, 44, is charged with being drunk on an aircraft, criminal damage, using threatening words and assaulting two crew members on a British Airways flight.

“The incidents were alleged to have taken place on a BA flight from Seattle to Heathrow on April 21, 2001,” the Lord Chancellor’s Department said in a statement on Friday. Buck has denied the charges.

His trial will be heard by judge John Crocker at Isleworth Crown Court in west London and is expected to last five days.

The incident is alleged to have happened as the rock star flew to London for the South Africa Freedom Day concert in Trafalgar Square, before beginning a world tour with R.E.M.

The band – Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Buck – has sold an estimated 40 million albums since they played their first concert in Athens, Georgia in 1980.

Among their biggest British singles were “Losing my Religion,” “Shiny Happy People,” “Man on the Moon” and “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”

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