R.E.M. Guitarist Upset About Air Time

By | October 24, 2003 at 12:00 AM

R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck is a bit miffed that the group’s newer music doesn’t get much air time.

“We do really good work, and I hate to brag but our records are better than most people’s records,” Buck told reporters. “So sometimes it kind of hurts my feelings when I see a record that is obviously a piece of garbage, and everyone knows its garbage, and the guy can’t sing, and then we put out a really good record and they don’t put it on the radio because it doesn’t fit the formats.”

R.E.M. is releasing a greatest hits album Tuesday called “In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003.”

Buck said he still sees former drummer Bill Berry, but just as a friend, not as a musician.

“He’s as far out of the music business as you can possibly get,” Buck said. “If I was to suggest, ‘Hey come play with us,’ he’d run away and I’d probably never see him again.”

At least Buck has made up with the folks at British Airways after he was found innocent of assault, being drunk on an aircraft and damaging British Airways crockery during the trip from Seattle to London in April 2001.

“In my mind it was a misunderstanding,” he said. “I’m sure on BA I must be on some kind of list.”

He said he has a good relationship with the carrier and continues to fly British Airways.

“I’m a valued customer. We’ve probably given them a half million dollars worth of business in the last couple years. We fly 30 people over to England first-class three or four times a year.”