REO Speedwagon Guitarist, Gary Richrath
NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Richrath, a former guitarist for the classic rock band REO Speedwagon who also co-wrote the group’s hit song “Take It on the Run,” died Sunday, according to a publicist for the band. He was 65.
Erik Stein confirmed on Monday that Richrath passed away but offered no details about the cause of death.
Richrath was born in October 1949, according to public records. He was a member of the band when it released its self-titled debut in 1971 and was with REO Speedwagon until 1989.
The REO Speedwagon Guitarist Richrath co-wrote some of the band’s songs, including “Take It on the Run,” which became a Top 5 pop hit on the Billboard charts.
“I feel so sad. Gary was both a unique guitarist and songwriter, and the embodiment of the tough guy with a heart of gold. I learned most of what I know about being in a rock band from Gary Richrath,” REO Speedwagon’s lead singer, Kevin Cronin, wrote on the band’s website and Facebook page. “The entire REO Family mourns his death and shares in the grief of his family, friends, and fans. These words do not come close to expressing the depth of emotions I am feeling at this time.”
The former REO Speedwagon Guitarist Richrath last played with REO Speedwagon in 2013, when the band performed a benefit concert in Bloomington, Illinois, to raise money for tornado victims.
REO Speedwagon has released a number of successful albums, including 1980’s “Hi Infidelity,” which sold 10 million copies in the United States.
The former REO Speedwagon Guitarist released a solo album, “Only the Strong Survive,” in 1992.
REO Speedwagon (originally styled as R.E.O. Speedwagon) are an American rock band. Formed in 1967, the band cultivated a following during the 1970s and achieved significant commercial success throughout the 1980s. Hi Infidelity (1980) contained four US Top 40 hits and is the group’s best-selling album, with over ten million copies sold.
Over the course of its career, the band has sold more than 40 million records and has charted thirteen Top 40 hits, including the number ones “Keep On Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling”. REO Speedwagon’s mainstream popularity dissipated in the 1990s but the band remains a popular live act.
They named the band REO Speedwagon, from the REO Speed Wagon, …. jazz trumpet player Rick Braun, Miles Joseph on lead guitar and Graham Lear on drums. …. piano, synthesizer (1967–present); Kevin Cronin – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, … Gregg Philbin – bass guitar, backing vocals; Steve Scorfina – lead guitar .
The former REO Speedwagon Guitarist Richrath last played with REO Speedwagon in 2013