TV, Video — April 4, 2014 at 6:56 am

R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Mike Mills help Joseph Arthur pay tribute to Lou Reed on Letterman


By now you’ve heard about R.E.M.’s Mike Mills breaking the news of David Letterman’s retirement yesterday, but here’s the reason he was even there: Mills and former bandmate Peter Buck reunited on “The Late Show” to back Joseph Arthur’s performance of “Walk on the Wild Side,” part of the singer-songwriter’s new tribute to the late Lou Reed.

Mills’ involvement in the Letterman news is fitting, given that R.E.M. made its television debut on the host’s old show, “Late Night with David Letterman,” performing “Radio Free Europe” on Oct. 6, 1983.

Below, you can check out last night’s performance (via gotsome2008) as well as a short clip of Mills explaining his Tweet heard around the world, and, of course, R.E.M.’s classic 1983 TV debut.


Video: Joseph Arthur, Peter Buck and Mike Mills, “Walk on the Wild Side,” 4/3/14


Video: Mike Mills on breaking the news of Letterman’s retirement



Video: R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” on “Late Night with David Letterman,” 10/6/83




  1. Here’s hoping for a REM reunion for the last Letterman.

  2. Watching that first 1983 R.E.M. appearance as a 13-year-old was pretty life changing for me. Definitely my version of The Beatles on Ed Sullivan…

  3. Scott Stalcup

    Dear Mikey, Pete, and Mumbles (and either Bill),

    If you read this forum, kindly stop pussyfooting around and reunite already! The world’s been a less fun place without you. We’ve learned our lesson as far as not knowing what one has until it’s gone. As a great man once sang: Let’s begin again.

  4. TermiteSong

    Joseph Arthur rocks. I can listen to his music all day. REM seems so dated and fuill of themselves.

  5. Not seen this footage before. It sent shivers down my spine and transported me back 30 years in an unexpectedly vivid way. Isn’t it great when music does that? Michael, Lotus, Chris & Scott: I know what you mean but…dream on! (They haven’t made it illegal yet…). TermiteSong: Of course it’s dated. 31 years dated, to be precise. People in rock’n’roll being full of themselves – whoever heard of such a thing? Someone ought to stamp that shit out. Oh, they have.
    PS: Who the fuck’s Joseph Arthur? Means nothing in the UK.

  6. “Who the fuck’s Joseph Arthur? Means nothing in the UK.”

    The problem is that you know nothing.

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