R.E.M.'s Buck Called A Naughty Child As Air Rage Trial Opens

Guitarist accused of becoming disorderly after drinking 15 glasses of wine on flight to London.

Peter Buck drank 15 glasses of wine and mistook a flight attendant's trolley for a stereo on a flight from Seattle to London in April, according to the prosecutor in the R.E.M. guitarist's air rage trial.

The proceedings began Monday (November 12) at Isleworth Crown Court in London with prosecutor Edward Lewis scolding the musician for acting like a naughty child, according to wire reports.

"He tried every ruse to get some more drink, even offering the crew money," Lewis said, according to the Associated Press.

Buck is accused of assaulting a cabin crew, being drunk on an aircraft and damaging British Airways property. He pleaded not guilty to all charges in July (see "R.E.M.'s Peter Buck Pleads Not Guilty To Air Rage Charges").

The trial, which was delayed for several hours for unannounced reasons, is expected to last five days. It will continue Tuesday morning.

Lewis contended that during Buck's eight-hour flight, he choked a flight attendant with his tie and tore up a "yellow card" warning from the captain. The guitarist also allegedly staggered around the plane, got stuck between seats and dumped yogurt on himself and a crew member.

Buck was in the courtroom Monday but did not talk to reporters. Spokespeople for Buck and his lawyer, Richard Ferguson, were not available for comment.

R.E.M. were flying to Britain to perform at the South Africa Freedom Day Concert in London's Trafalgar Square on April 29 when the incident allegedly occurred (see "Peter Buck Arrested For Busting Up First Class"). The other members of the band were on a different flight.