PORTLAND, Ore. – Born in 1956, Peter Buck graduated from Crestwood High School in Berkley California before moving to Athens Georgia where he would eventually meet Michael Stipe and form the iconic rock band R.E.M.
Formed in 1980, R.E.M. ruled the airwaves and music television for decades because of their songs like 1991’s Losing My Religion, a classic pop song about unrequited love, managed to connect with not just alternative music fans, but also soft rock fans as well.
During the band’s heyday in the early 90’s, R.E.M. produced many songs like Shiny Happy People that you could sing in your car and feel good about encouraging your friends to listen to, compared to early 90’s alternative rock bands like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains that weren’t as universally loved by music fans around the world.
By the mid-1990’s R.E.M’s career was starting to slow down and the members of R.E.M including Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry headed in different directions musically, focusing on their solo projects.
During this time Peter Buck shifted his musical focus to producing and he played a part in producing albums for many notable bands including The Replacements, Charlie Pickett, The Eels, and The Decemberists.
Admiration for His Musical Style
Over the years Peter Buck has also earned the admiration of his peers in the music industry including Bono, lead singer of U2, who once said this about Buck’s style of play:
“When Peter plays guitar, there’s a strong sense of f… off that comes from his side of the stage. And you feel that he wants to be in a band because he likes what they do… but that’s all,” explained U2‘s lead singer Bono in 2003. “And it’s almost like performing and having to deal with all of that is a bit of a compromise for him, so just f… off. And I like that energy a little bit, and that gives them their aggression.”
Buck married his third wife, Chloe Johnson, on June 1, 2013, in Portland, Oregon.
At the age of 59, Peter Buck doesn’t show any signs of slowing down and he continues to divide his time between his homes in Portland and Seattle. He once said in a Rolling Stone interview that he “hated the business” and even though he’s made his feelings known about the recording industry, Peter Buck stays busier than ever before and continues the busy life of a musician when other musicians from his era have long since slowed down or faded from the spotlight.