Buck Cleared in Air Rage Trial

Guitarist found not guilty of assault, drunkenness on flight

April 5, 2002 12:00 AM ET

A London jury found R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck not guilty of various charges stemming from an alleged air rage incident a year ago.

Buck was charged with drunkenness on an aircraft, damaging airline property and assaulting two crew members on the British Airways flight. The guitarist was accused of drinking fifteen glasses of wine last April while en route from Seattle to London where R.E.M. was to perform at Nelson Mandela's Freedom Day Concert. The trial included testimony from British Airways crew member Holly Ward, who claimed that Buck became unruly after the crew refused him further alcohol.

Late last month, Buck testified that he had no memory of the incident, claiming that he had taken a sleeping pill with a glass of wine early in the flight and woke up in a detainment cell in London's Heathrow Airport. "To me, it was just incomprehensible," he said. "I have never been in trouble before . . . I will go miles away to avoid confrontation. I really don't like it."

The three-week trial also included character witness testimony from U2 singer Bono, who claimed he'd never seen Buck drunk in the time he'd known him, and R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who called Buck a "Southern gentleman."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

More Song Stories entries »