Birth Date: September 14, 1930
Birth Place: Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA
Date of Death: November 13, 2002 / Age: 72
Location of Death: Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of Death: lung cancer
Biography: William Thomas Berry (born July 31st 1958) was the drummer in alternative rock band R.E.M. for 17 years.
He was born in Duluth, Minnesota. His family soon moved to Macon, Georgia. He met bassist Mike Mills at high school in 1972. They played together in several different bands. Berry and Mills moved to Athens, Georgia in 1978, where they met Michael Stipe and Peter Buck. R.E.M. was formed in 1980. In 1995, Bill Berry collapsed on stage while touring, due to a brain aneurysm. He left R.E.M. in October 1997, citing personal reasons. In 2000 he recorded for Tourette Syndrome Charity Album Welcome Companions.
Stipe said that when Bill approached them and begged them to let him leave, he said to the band that he could compromise and record with them, which would make him sad, but he didn't want to do any interviews or tours. Stipe said that "I just love the guy too much to see him sad" and thus they let Berry leave the band for his own happiness.
He had brief reunions with his former bandmates in 1999, where he jumped on stage to embrace with his old bandmembers. And in 2003, where Berry joined the band for two songs at their October 10 show in Raleigh, North Carolina, the second-to-last date of their 28-show fall tour. Despite this, bandmembers Peter Buck and Michael Stipe said that they don't expect Bill to make a reappearance any time soon and that he remained firm on his decision to retire.