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R.E.M.'s Buck has an ear for music variety

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Ever wonder what rock stars listen to while on tour? In the case of Peter Buck of R.E.M., it varies from day to day.

"Last night, I listened to 'The Joe Meeks Story' record, which is one of the sickest things I've ever heard," he continues. "There's a John Coltrane thing, 'Live in Seattle,' that's amazing. The new Blur record I really like. It's really new wave, but it's really cool, real musical. I really like it. I've also been listening to the Oasis record. I like it, because I like that kind of stuff, but it doesn't overwhelm me."

He has also been listening to the debut album by a Florida group called For Squirrels, whose singer, bassist and manager were killed in a car crash shortly before the album was released. "It's really sad," he says. "I was given a copy of their CD in Miami the day after [the accident]. It was like, 'Their manager wanted you to have it, and they were going to send it down anyway, because they knew they weren't going to be here.' . . . I can't really separate the experience -- the accident and the deaths -- and the record, but it's a good record.

"I got the second part of the Led Zeppelin boxed set, and played it last night. Some of the stuff I wasn't all that familiar with, because it was on records that I wasn't listening to; I was kind of into glam and the second half of Led Zeppelin's career. But that was really good."

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