Tune your high E string down to D one more time!! This is the last of the trio of early R.E.M. songs usually played together because of Peter Buck’s alternate tuning: Gardening at Night and 9-9 are the other two. There is another alternate tuning song, Life and How to Live It, but other strings are tuned down as well for an open G. More about that in a later post.

I think Windout was probably always a crowd favorite, and was featured in the 1984 movie Bachelor Party starring Tom Hanks. It was first released on the 1897 album, Dead Letter Office.

Passaic and Meredith College are (as typical) our best video sources:




Just after 1:09:22 in the Meridith College video, you can see a hand position for the “bridge” part Peter Buck is playing. This has been the most difficult part of the song to figure out, and has had me stumped for several months. What I think I see is Peter Buck having to slide his hand back up to play the verse again as he runs/jumps by Michael Stipe. The video is obviously not HD, and he is moving fast, so it is a guess. I need something more concrete but haven’t been able to find it.

This is what I think it is (play and repeat–I think 8 times):



E, Eadd9, Bm7


E, Eadd9, D*


A, G [don’t play the high E, tuned to D, string–mute it].

Pretty simple song, really!



*This is the same chord (except alternate tuning here) from Little America and Driver 8, and Catapult. Peter Buck also uses that position in Maps and Legends, though with the bottom two strings open.

Fleshtones in Paris in 1985 with Peter Buck on guitar playing Windout:


Further Reading

Possible Lyrics



4 thoughts on “Windout”

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