Former R.E.M., Ministry, and King Crimson drummer Bill Rieflin has died of cancer at the age of 59.
The musician’s death was confirmed by King Crimson founder Robert Fripp, who paid tribute on his official social media pages.
“A call from Tracy Rieflin in Seattle. Bill Rieflin flew from this world c. 18.50 Pacific, 18.50 UK,” he wrote.
“Tracy told Toyah [Wilcox, Fripp’s wife] and me that the day was grey, and as Bill flew away the clouds opened, and the skies were blue for about fifteen minutes. Fly well, Brother Bill! My life is immeasurably richer for knowing you. Pal Susan Silver has just sent us this pic from our visit last November.”
Despite working extensively in the industrial metal genre with other bands including KMFDM and Pigface, he became a member of R.E.M. in the early 2000s after the retirement of original drummer Bill Berry. He played on the albums ‘Around The Sun’, ‘Accelerate’, and ‘Collapse Into Now’.
Today we lost a wonderful artist, tremendous human being and an integral part of Ministry’s developments and success…
Safe travels my brother on the way to your next universal gig.
— Ministry (@WeAreMinistry) March 24, 2020