Buck Trial Begins In London

R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck staggered around a plane, got stuck between seats, and covered himself in yogurt after downing 15 glasses of red wine on a flight to the U.K., a London court was told today

R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck staggered around a plane, got stuck between seats, and covered himself in yogurt after downing 15 glasses of red wine on a flight to the U.K., a London court was told today (Nov. 12). Prosecutor Edward Lewis told the first day of Buck's trial that the 44-year-old musician "became the transmogrification of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde" during the 8 1/2-hour Seattle to London flight.

Buck is charged with being drunk on an aircraft, assaulting two cabin crew members, interfering with the performance of a crew member's duties, and damaging British Airways' dishes during the April flight. Buck, who appeared in court, denies the charges.

"The steward was to replenish Mr. Buck's glass 15 times during the first three hours or so," Lewis said.

Lewis said Buck became stuck between two seats, mistook a hostess trolley for a CD player and covered himself and the cabin services manager with the contents of a yogurt tub.

The prosecutor accused Buck and tour manager Robert Whittaker of behaving like "naughty children."

"It was getting beyond a joke," he said.

The alleged incident occurred as the Georgia band traveled to Britain to promote their album "Reveal" and perform at a Nelson Mandela tribute concert in London's Trafalgar Square.

Buck's trial at Isleworth Crown Court in west London -- which was briefly adjourned so that people in the courtroom could check on associates and loved ones in the U.S. following news of a plane crash in New York -- is expected to last a week.


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