Artists and Bands Features

Peter Buck’s Reflections On Being In a Rock and Roll Band

I have always admired Peter Buck. He belongs right up there with some of my own personal rock and roll inspirations such as Greg Shaw, Keith Richards and Little Steven (and this from a guy who is not much of a Springsteen fan), people that live and breath rock ‘n’ roll. When I first started getting into R.E.M. during their “Document” period, I would read about Peter Buck recording with Nicky Sudden or producing someone like The Replacements and to this rock and roll fan bred on Zeppelin, Rush and Van Halen I could only scratch my head and think “who are these guys”? He would list a bunch of cool rock and roll that he was listening to at the time from bands that I had never heard of like they were in heavy rotation in some bizarre parallel rock and roll universe to my own. The curiosity over who and what he was listening to led directly to an expansion of my rock and roll tastes into music that was not only not on my usual rock and roll listening path but was way out there in the unknown, slightly prickly indie bushes. This is exactly the same way that Keith Richards and Jimmy Page yammering on about Chess Records and Robert Johnson introduced me to the blues. Any rock and roll band worth listening to should lead you to explore new branches on the rock and roll tree. Whether it stems from their stated influences, choice of opening acts or covers recorded, part of the fun of being a rock and roll fan is discovering the unknown, the forgotten and the rock and roll flotsam and jetsam that is the living legacy of rock and roll and guys like Peter Buck, Greg Shaw, Keith Richards and Little Steven are the perfect tour guides. Jim Derogatis recently interviewed Buck and his thoughts on rock and roll life, aging and R.E.M. are interesting and insightful. If you ever wanted to change rock and roll paths and check out some cool, and not so cool rock and roll, all you have to do is follow the career path of Peter Buck. To say that it is a rock and roll education is an understatement. Any man who owns a house in Hawaii but spends most of his time listening to his (at last count) 10,000 records in the music room when he isn’t gigging with his approximately 50 other rock and roll side projects is a man that knows and loves his stuff. Now if only I could get him to put together a compilation for The Rock and Roll Report……