Bill Rieflin — the versatile drummer and multi-instrumentalist who performed with R.E.M., Ministry, and most recently King Crimson over his 30-year career — died Tuesday following an “eight-year duel with cancer,” his family confirmed to Rolling Stone. He was 59.
“Seattle native and lifelong resident, Bill was a world-class musician who was at home on the drums, guitar, bass, and keyboards,” Rieflin’s family said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “He was also an accomplished composer and producer who possessed a sophisticated ear, a depth of rare talent, and complete dedication to his craft,” “Known for much of his career as an extraordinary drummer, Bill performed with a wide range of artists and bands, from Swans and Ministry to R.E.M. and King Crimson and many more.”
His family continued: “Bill also lost his beloved wife of 27 years, master painter Francesca Sundsten, to cancer last year. His refined manner, brilliant mind, eye for the ironic, and legendary sense of humor defined him as a man of discerning taste, palate, and company. We will miss him terribly.”