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The BBC's Rebecca Jones
"Peter Buck spoke only twice"
 real 56k

Monday, 23 April, 2001, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
REM star 'sorry' over plane incident
Peter Buck and Bertis Downs
Peter Buck listens as Downs reads his statement
REM guitarist Peter Buck has apologised outside court after being charged with a series of offences relating to an alleged "air rage" incident.

Buck, 44, appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court, west London, to face six charges following an incident on a British Airways flight from Seattle to Heathrow on Saturday.

The case was adjourned until 18 June and Buck was granted bail until then.

I am sorry for the incident and of course I am embarrassed about the whole thing

Peter Buck
Outside court, his American lawyer Bertis Downs read out a statement written by Buck, who is joining REM to play a concert in Trafalgar Square, London on Sunday before starting a world tour.

It said: "I am sorry for the incident and of course I am embarrassed about the whole thing. However, I have been advised not to talk about it further.

"I am grateful for the court allowing me to undertake our promotional tour."

In court, previous bail conditions - stating that Buck must surrender his passport - were withdrawn at the request of his counsel, Trevor Burke.


Peter Buck
Buck faces six charges relating to the incident
Buck faces charges of disobeying a lawful command of the commander of an aircraft on 21 April of being drunk on an aircraft, of damaging British Airways crockery, of using threatening behaviour and of assaulting crew members Mario Agius and Holly Ward.

New bail conditions, which set a surety of 30,000 - paid for by manager Robert Gold - ordered Buck not to contact prosecution witnesses or any member of the flight crew.

Mr Gold said: "Peter will be going back to the hotel now to speak to his family.

"They should have been rehearsing today. They have missed a day of rehearsal."

He said the other members of the band were upset by the news, adding: "This is completely out of character."

Mr Gold said that "hopefully" REM would still be able to appear at Sunday's concert, which celebrates democracy in South Africa.

Peter Buck at MTV Awards
Peter Buck was one of the founders of REM
Former President Nelson Mandela is expected to join 30,000 fans in Trafalgar Square, which will see performances from bands and artists including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, The Corrs and Mel B.


REM are widely regarded as one of the most influential groups of the past two decades and have been an inspiration for a generation of alternative rock bands.

The group formed in 1980 with a line-up of Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry.

They played their first gig in Athens, Georgia, USA, on 19 April 1980 and began picking up a large underground following and critical acclaim.

Their sound, combining country with folk and a heavy rock bassline, was considered quite unlike anything to come out of the US before.

Michael Stipe
Michael Stipe: adding to REM's individuality
In addition, Stipe's distinctive voice and eccentric onstage behaviour increased the band's individuality and charisma.

Yet, REM did not hit mainstream chart success until the release of their Green album in 1988.


Since then worldwide recognition has come with single hits such as Losing My Religion, Shiny Happy People, Drive and Everybody Hurts.

Their albums have included Murmur, Reckoning, Document, Out of Time and Automatic for the People. Drummer Bill Berry left the band after 17 years in 1997.

But undaunted, the band continued to have success. There was the adventurous album UP in 1998, introduced by the UK top 10 single Daysleeper.

The following year they earned acclaim for providing the soundtrack for the Andy Kaufman biopic movie Man On The Moon.

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See also:

23 Apr 01 | Music
Peter Buck's rich pageant
06 Apr 01 | Music
Stars to celebrate South Africa
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