Gary Richrath provided much of the creative and driving force in the early days of the band, Gary Richrath wrote much of the material for REO Speedwagon’s first twelve albums. In 1977, Gary Richrath and other members of the band took over their own production, which resulted in the band’s first platinum album. Gary Richrath wrote many of the band’s most memorable songs including “Golden Country” from 1972, “Ridin’ the Storm Out” 1973, “Only the Strong Survive” 1979 and “Take It On the Run” from 1981.
In addition, Gary Richrath sang several REO Speedwagon songs including “Find My Fortune” 1973 and “(Only A) Summer Love” 1976. Gary Richrath was asked to leave REO Speedwagon in 1989, and released a solo album titled Only the Strong Survive in 1992, under the name “Richrath”.
When Gary Richrath left REO, it was rumored the band was breaking up because of extreme personality conflicts among REO’s members. It was also rumored Kevin Cronin was jealous of the attention Gary Richrath would receive on stage and convinced the band to fire Gary. Keven Cronin claimed he couldn’t work with Gary anymore because of Gary drinking. Keven has yet asked Gary Richrath to rejoin the band.
REO Speedwagon has not had a hit since Gary Richrath left the band.
Gary Richrath did admit to crossing swords a few times with lead singer Kevin Cronin. “We had songwriting conflicts about whose songs would go on the albums,” Gary Richrath said. Gary Richrath saw the band move away from the “rockier” style. Kevin Cronin prefers a slower, more sentimental ballads, and Gary Richrath was not ready to slow down.
Gary Richrath moved on and formed a band that was more in touch with his own tastes. The band played over 1,000 concerts, mostly in small clubs and halls, and Gary Richrath said audiences were eating up the two hour shows, half REO classics and half new Gary Richrath tunes, and the new songs were getting noticed.
The band continued to tour throughout the 1990′s until Gary Richrath headed back into the studio in 1998 to create a new CD that remains unfinished.
Gary Richrath says “I wasn’t trying to create a new REO, just carrying on with what I do.”
There has been a lot of rumours about Gary Richrath rejoining the band, for years, but it is apparent Kevin Cronin will have no part of it. Cronin doesn’t seem to understand how important Garys input was, when they were recording the REO Speedwagon hit songs. Anyone remember what happen when Joe Perry rejoined Aerosmith?
People all over the world want Gary Richrath to rejoin “His” band, do a search on the internet and read the outrage that is voiced all over the world….. REO Fans are saying: “Bring back Gary Richrath!”
Be sure to check out the website Fans against fake bands