"I was born in Seattle, or as I always say I was bread-and-buttered here. My first instrument was the 'pie-annie,' and I think I started playing when I was seven. Then, somewhere in 1970, I found the G chord on a guitar; I put my finger on the third fret of the high string and strummed it and I said, 'Hey look, wow! I can play guitar!' Later that year, I got some drums for Christmas. I think the drums happened because it was the only instrument left in the neighborhood band, so I had to play drums. I was 10 or 11, maybe. I eventually got rid of those damn things and sold them to another neighbor kid [because] I decided I was going to be a guitar player. I was playing guitar until I was asked to come and fill in for a drummer who wasn't going to make it in some other local band. I hadn't played for a couple years and warned them of that. But, apparently, I was better than their other guy, and they asked me to stay (laughs), so I did. That group was called the Telepaths. The Telepaths paved the way for the Blackouts and the Blackouts eventually - minus one member - went to go work with [Al] Jourgenson in Ministry. Paul [Barker] was the last of many bass players; Paul joined in 1981. He was living in Germany at the time, and his brother, Roland, who was an original Blackout, wrote to him and said 'Come to Seattle! Be in our band!' And he did. The rest is, uh, the rest."Bill Rieflin officially joined REM as their permanent drummer early 2005. Rieflin was already featured on REM's album "Around The Sun". He replaced Bill Berry who departed from the band in 1997.
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