R.E.M.’s Peter Buck: “My first gig was horrible. The only thing I can remember is playing the Batman theme, and I’m not sure we even played the third chord”

Photo of Peter BUCK and REM, Peter Buck performing on stage
(Image credit: Stuart Mostyn/Redferns)

In this wide-ranging conversation, the R.E.M. guitarist looks back at his early years with the instrument, spanning his first gigs and early tours to embarrassing onstage moments and his approach to guitar solos.

First, let’s take it back to where it all began…

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Joe Matera

Joe Matera is an Australian guitarist and music journalist who has spent the past two decades interviewing a who's who of the rock and metal world and written for Guitar World, Total Guitar, Rolling Stone, Goldmine, Sound On Sound, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and many others. He is also a recording and performing musician and solo artist who has toured Europe on a regular basis and released several well-received albums including instrumental guitar rock outings through various European labels. Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera has called him, "... a great guitarist who knows what an electric guitar should sound like and plays a fluid pleasing style of rock." He's the author of Backstage Pass: The Grit and the Glamour.