Bill Rieflin, the drummer of Ministry, R.E.M. and King Crimson, has died of cancer aged 59.
Rieflin had built up a list of credits almost as long as his career, and played with bands such as Ministry, the Revolting Cocks, Lard, KMFDM, Pigface, Swans, Chris Connelly, Nine Inch Nails, and R.E.M..
He was a current member of King Crimson up until his death.
King Crimson founder Robert Fripp confirmed news of his passing in a Facebook post last night (24 March). He writes, "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. Fly well, Brother Bill! My life is immeasurably richer for knowing you."
Robyn Hitchcock also paid tribute to Rieflin on Twitter, and confirmed that he had died after a long battle with cancer. He writes, "The great Bill Rieflin has changed hotel rooms for the last time - after a long battle with cancer he checked out and left us today. Musical genius and bleak perfectionist, Bill graced me with his drumming, harmonies and laser-sharp insight between 2005 and 2013. RIP dear boy."
The great Bill Rieflin has changed hotel rooms for the last time - after a long battle with cancer he checked out and left us today. Musical genius and bleak perfectionist, Bill graced me with his drumming, harmonies and laser-sharp insight between 2005 and 2013. RIP dear boy.— Robyn Hitchcock (@RobynHitchcock) March 25, 2020
A number of other musicians have also paid tribute to the late multi-instrumentalist on socials.
So sorry to hear of Bill Rieflin passing away. A straight up person and excellent musician.— Krist Novoselić (@KristNovoselic) March 24, 2020
Crushed one of my childhood heroes passed. Bill Reiflin. Pigface, Revco, Ministry, NIN, so much Wax Trax... all my favs, when I was a kid.— Geoffrey Rickly (@GeoffRickly) March 25, 2020
Today we lost a wonderful artist, tremendous human being and an integral part of Ministry’s developments and success…— Ministry (@WeAreMinistry) March 24, 2020
Safe travels my brother on the way to your next universal gig.
R.I.P Bill Rieflin#MinistryBand #WeAreMinistry #Ministry #Revco #BillRieflin #RestInPeace pic.twitter.com/5YfhvGUZcR