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Drummer Bill Rieflinh as passed away at age 59 after battling cancer

Drummer Bill Rieflin, whose 30-year career included stints with a wide range of bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and R.E.M., has passed away.

The drummer passed after a battle with cancer, according to several of his friend and collaborators on social media (via Variety).

The news was seemingly first reported by guitarist Robert Fripp, who revealed in a Facebook post that he heard from Rieflin’s wife Tracy in Seattle that Bill had passed.

R.I.P.: Drummer Bill Rieflin, whose 30-year career included stints with a wide range of bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and R.E.M., has passed away

R.I.P.: Drummer Bill Rieflin, whose 30-year career included stints with a wide range of bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and R.E.M., has passed away

‘A call from Tracy Rieflin in Seattle. Bill Rieflin flew from this world c. 18.50 Pacific, 18.50 UK. Tracy told Toyah and me that the day was grey, and as Bill flew away the clouds opened, and the skies were blue for about fifteen minutes,’ Fripp said.

‘Fly well, Brother Bill! My life is immeasurably richer for knowing you,’ he concluded.

Rieflin was born in Seattle, where he began his drumming career at the age of just 15 with a group called The Telepaths, and later a group called The Blackouts.

Early days: Rieflin was born in Seattle, where he began his drumming career at the age of just 15 with a group called The Telepaths, and later a group called The Blackouts

Early days: Rieflin was born in Seattle, where he began his drumming career at the age of just 15 with a group called The Telepaths, and later a group called The Blackouts

When The Blackouts disbanded, guitarist Paul Barker joined a group called Ministry, and brought Rieflin along to work on their iconic album The Land of Rape and Honey.

While he worked on several Ministry albums, and albums of their side projects Revolting Cocks, Lard, and 1000 Homo DJs, he was never an ‘official’ member of any of these groups, always credited as, ‘other musician.’

He also played in groups that featured more than one drummer, including his most recent group, King Crimson, which featured three percussionists.

When The Blackouts disbanded, guitarist Paul Barker joined a group called Ministry, and brought Rieflin along to work on their iconic album The Land of Rape and Honey

When The Blackouts disbanded, guitarist Paul Barker joined a group called Ministry, and brought Rieflin along to work on their iconic album The Land of Rape and Honey

Rieflin also worked with R.E.M., after the band’s founding drummer, Bill Berry, parted ways with the group in 1997. 

The drummer worked on three albums with R.E.M.,  2004’s Around the Sun, 2008’s R.E.M. Live, 2009’s Live at Olympia and 2011’s Collapse Into Now.

He also worked with Nine Inch Nails on their 1999 album The Fragile, KMFDM’s 2002 album Attak plus their 2003 albums Strum & Drang World Tour 2002 and WWIII.

REM: Rieflin also worked with R.E.M., after the band's founding drummer, Bill Berry, parted ways with the group in 1997

REM: Rieflin also worked with R.E.M., after the band’s founding drummer, Bill Berry, parted ways with the group in 1997

Among the numerous artists paying tribute to Rieflin on Tuesday was singer Toyah Wilcox, who said, ‘Our dear wonderful Bill Rieflin flew from this world today. Much loved HUMAN and member of King Crimson. Family by his side. Forever in our hearts. #billrieflin.’

The verified Twitter page for Ministry also paid its respects, stating, ‘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. R.I.P Bill Rieflin.’

Film composer Peter Albrechtsen added, ‘One of the great drummers has left us: Bill Rieflin. Just 59 years old, way too young. Cancer. Played on lots of amazing albums with Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M. and Swans. Among many others. Thanks for all the brilliant beats, rousing rhythms and inspiring music.’

Tribute: Among the numerous artists paying tribute to Rieflin on Tuesday was singer Toyah Wilcox, who said, 'Our dear wonderful Bill Rieflin flew from this world today. Much loved HUMAN and member of King Crimson. Family by his side. Forever in our hearts. #billrieflin'

Tribute: Among the numerous artists paying tribute to Rieflin on Tuesday was singer Toyah Wilcox, who said, ‘Our dear wonderful Bill Rieflin flew from this world today. Much loved HUMAN and member of King Crimson. Family by his side. Forever in our hearts. #billrieflin’

 

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Written by Angle News

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