"We're all sitting here friends again." Watch R.E.M. reunite for first performance with their full, original line-up since the mid '90s

(Image credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame)

The four original founding members of R.E.M. - vocalist Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry - have performed together onstage for the first time since the mid '90s following their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame at New York's Marriott Marquis Hotel last night, June 13.

The band's last official performance was on November 18, 2008, when they closed out their Accelerate tour at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, but drummer Billy Berry hadn't performed with the band since the mid '90s, after he suffered a double brain aneurysm during a March 1995 gig in Lausanne, Switzerland. But following their induction into the Songwriters Hall, the quartet performed an acoustic version of their 1991 mega-hit Losing My Religion for the assembled audience. 

Reporting on the ceremony, US music industry bible Billboard quotes Michael Stipe as saying, “Writing songs and having a catalog of work that we’re all proud of that is out there for the rest of the world for all time is hands-down the most important aspect of what we did. Second to that is that we managed to do so all those decades and remain friends. And not just friends, dear friends.

“We are four people that very early on decided that we would own our own masters and we would split our royalties and songwriting credits equally. All for one and one for all.”

In an exclusive interview with CBS Mornings ahead of the ceremony, R.E.M. emphatically stated that they had no regrets about calling time on the band in 2011.

"There wasn't anything we could really agree on musically," admits guitarist Peter Buck. "What kind of music, how to record it, are we going to go on tour... we could barely agree on where to go for dinner."

"We're also here to tell the tale," says Michael Stipe. "We're sitting at the same table together with deep admiration and life-long friendship: a lot of people that do this can't claim that." 

Watch the full interview and footage of their performance below:

R.E.M. reflects on band's beginning, breakup and more in rare interview - YouTube R.E.M. reflects on band's beginning, breakup and more in rare interview - YouTube
Watch On

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.