Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


Detroit post-show - R.E.M Drummer leaves.

Detroit post-show- R.E.M Drummer leaves. Billy Berry announces his departure and gives everyone pause for reflection.

Surprise news of the day was to learn that Bill Berry, R.E.M.'s drummer, is leaving the band. Its funny, because on the plane only yesterday we were talking about bands splitting up and what a tragedy it is that The Smiths and The Clash no longer exist. The Edge was saying that people wouldn't believe how hard it becomes to keep a band together. U2 have survived, but it would only have taken a different set of circumstances and they might not have. Who was it that said being in a band is like being married but you don't get to have sex? Steve Tyler? I forget.

Today we hear about Bill leaving R.E.M. - an event in their camp with equal significance to Larry leaving U2 - and you see how right Edge is. Bill's departure is a great surprise, but understandable given his near-death experience with a brain hemorrhage on their ë95 tour. That would certainly give a man cause to reflect.

Whilst U2 spent half the night in a diner in downtown Detroit, I had an early one in preparation for what looks like being a particularly full on week. They were shooting a video for "God's Angels" with Phil Joanou. Nice to see him again, he always adds a rush of positive energy to any situation.. As for me, it was cocoa in bed with a good book and lights out early. Rock & Roll, eh?

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