Since the release of REO Speedwagon's first record in 1971, the band that started out in a rented Chevy station wagon playing bars across America, has produced 17 critically acclaimed albums, scored 13 top 40 singles (including two Billboard #1's) and sold over 40 million records. From their electrifying performance at the historic "Live Aid" concert, to President Clinton's 1996 Inaugural Ball...From appearances on the Howard Stern Show, Politically Incorrect with Bill Mahr, VH-1's Rock’n Roll Jeopardy, and The Today Show, to the acclaimed REO Speedwagon: Behind The Music, the band has plenty of stories to tell.
The current chapter of the REO story began when lead singer/songwriter Kevin Cronin, keyboardist and founding member Neal Doughty and bass guitarist Bruce Hall joined forces with former Ted Nugent lead guitarist Dave Amato and studio drummer Bryan Hitt to form the new and improved REO Speedwagon.
REO had been on a nonstop touring and recording schedule since 1971. There have been no farewell tours and no reunion tours. "We started out playing local bars in Champaign, Illinois and worked our way up from there" says Doughty. "We did it the old fashioned way and as a result we have a following which is still growing to this day."
True. When you look around the audience at a REO Speedwagon concert these days, you see people who have been with the band since the early days, singing and dancing along with high school and college age fans. "It blows us away", says Hall "we love the fact that our music brings so many different people together."
When original guitarist Gary Richrath and drummer Alan Gratzer left the band in the late 1980's, the band made the biggest decision of its career. "We knew it would be a huge challenge", says Cronin, "but everywhere we went, people kept telling us 'Please keep on going, don't stop.' That made us realize that our music meant a lot to people and gave us the strength we needed to carry on."
"A lot has happened since those days in the old Chevy station wagon.”, says Kevin, “We are thankful for every moment, and we thank you for your continuing support of our music and our spirit."