R.E.M.’s Original Members Reunite to Perform Live for First Time Since 2007

R.E.M.’s Original Members Reunite to Perform Live for First Time Since 2007

Less than a day after bassist Mike Mills declared it would take “a comet” for the four founding members of R.E.M. to play together again, the quartet took to the stage for a surprise performance celebrating their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on Thursday night.

Mills, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, and Bill Berry appeared at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York City and, according to the band’s Instagram, played their highest-charting hit “Losing My Religion.” In another post, the group shared a photo of the moment, captioning, “Another moment… oh life.”

The performance marked the first time all four members appeared together since their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

“Writing songs and having a catalog of work that we’re all proud of — that is out there for the whole world for the rest of time — is hands down, the most important aspect of what we did as a band,” said Stipe as the group accepted the honor. “Second to that is that we managed to do so for all these decades and remain friends, and not just friends, but dear friends — friends for life.”

The frontman continued, “We are four people who, very early on, decided that we would own our own masters. We would split our royalties and songwriting credits equally. We were all for one and one for all.”

“We set out to do our work accordingly,” said Stipe. “It turned out good, sometimes great, and what a ride it has been.”

When thanking fans and collaborators for their support, Stipe ended his speech by thanking Bertis Downs, an entertainment lawyer and R.E.M.’s longtime advisor. The singer credited Downs with helping foster “the space to be able to create, to follow our gut, to follow our instincts, to disappear into the music; to not have to be concerned with aspects of the industry that would have or could have prevented us from focusing on the most important part: the songwriting and the songs.”

Earlier on Thursday, the group reflected on their history with CBS Mornings and insisted they would not be performing together again — Buck reasoned, “It would never be as good,” — but said they ended the band in 2011 at the right time.

“At that point, there wasn’t anything we could agree on really, musically: what kind of music, how to record it, are we gonna go on tour,” the guitarist said of the split. “We could barely agree on where to go to dinner. And now we can just agree on where to go to dinner.” 


When discussing their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the group said it was a big moment for them. “We lived or died on the strength of our songs,” Buck said, “so this is a huge honor.”

“It is the hardest thing that we do,” Mills added, “and it is the thing that we worked on the very most from the beginning.”