REO Speedwagon


JESSE HARMS 'All Sides' Box Set Released on MRC

MelodicRock Classics Label
Jesse Harms is an American musician, songwriter and singer, who has spent a lifetime writing and recording songs as well as playing live with some of rock's biggest names.
Born in Massachusetts and raised in Berkeley, California, Jesse began playing the piano at 8 years old and studied classical music until he was 15. He lost interest in classical at that time and started playing the Organ with a local group of high schoolers called “The Rubber Band”. After high school Jesse attended the University of California, Berkeley but dropped out to concentrate on music.
In the early 70's Jesse formed a band called “Rags” with Pat Thrall (Pat Travers Band, Meatloaf) and Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger). After trying to write original songs the band started playing covers in clubs to earn a living. Pat was unhappy with the decision and left. The band went on to play clubs in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Alaska from 1973 to 1978. Jesse realized that he wasn't getting any closer to his goal of playing on records so, with Pat Thrall's help he met Alphonso Johnson (Weather Report) who was trying to form a progressive rock band for Electra/Asylum Records. After moving to L.A. Jesse spent the next year writing songs with Alphonso, forming a band that included Vinnie Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath) and Joe Turano (Michael Bolton) and making a record. Unfortunately, Electra/Asylum dropped the album before its release. Through his friend Darrel Verdusco (John Hiatt, Mickey Thomas) Jesse met John Hiatt. John was unsigned at the time, but he had a good band and some club dates in L.A. So, Jesse joined his band. Through John, Jesse met Ry Cooder.
Ry asked Jesse to play on his 'Borderline' album and then signed John and his band to tour Europe as his backup musicians in the winter of 1980 to promote the record. A U.S. Tour followed in 1981. Hiatt signed with Geffen Records and the rest of 1981 was spent recording the CD 'All of a Sudden' in New York and London with Tony Visconti as producer. The Album was released in 1982 and a tour opening for Graham Parker followed. But the album had poor sales and Hiatt let the band go.
Immediately Jesse joined is friend Pat Thrall again to tour in support of Pat's new project The Hughes/Thrall Band with Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze) and Tommie Aldridge (Black Oak Arkansas, Ozzy Osborne, Whitesnake). The band toured the U.S. playing arenas as the opening act for Santana. But that album also had poor sales and was dissolved.
Soon after Jesse got a call from producer Keith Olsen to do some additional recording on a single from Three Lock Box an album he had made for Sammy Hagar. Sammy had been hiring a studio keyboard player and a studio backup singer to make his last two records and he had nobody in his band to reproduce the parts on tour, so in late 1982 Jesse joined his band. Most of 1983 was spent on the road touring to support Three Lock Box. The album earned a Gold Record and the tour sold out arenas all across the U.S. 1984-85 were spent making Sammy Hagar's platinum album VOA (which included one of Jesse's songs, Don't Make Me Wait and the support tour, which was one of the most successful tours of the year, selling out arenas and stadiums in the U.S. In 1985 Sammy opted to join Van Halen, the last date his old band played was Farm Aid at University of Illinois stadium which featured Eddie Van Halen on guitar.
In late 1985 Jesse focused on writing songs and in early 1986 he got a call from Ted Templeman again to work on David Lee Roth's platinum 'Eat 'Em and Smile' album. Jesse turned down Roth's offer to join his band in order to work on his own songwriting. Most of 1986 was spent trying to form his own band under the guidance of John Kolodner at Geffen Records.
In 1987 Jesse reunited with Sammy Hagar to make his 'I Never said Goodbye' CD with Eddie Van Halen on Bass. The album included one of Jesse's songs 'Back Into You' and went Gold in the U.S. In 1987 Jesse signed a Publishing contract with Geffen music and spent the rest of the year unsuccessfully trying to put together his own band. In 1988 one of Jesse's songs, 'Walk On Water' was recorded by Eddie Money and went on to reach #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a number one Rock track as well as a number one MTV video. The album 'Nothing to Lose' went Gold, Walk on Water also was on Eddie's Greatest Hits which sold Platinum.
In 1989 Jesse toured with Eddie Money as part of his band that included original guitarist Jimmy Lyons. Later in 1989 Jesse began writing songs with Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon). At the time REO was inactive but with the support of management the band was reformed. Jesse's friend Dave Amato (Ted Nugent, Cher) was added on guitar and Brian Hitt (Wang Chung) on drums.
1990 was spent writing and touring with REO Speedwagon as well as recording their CD 'The Earth, A Small Man, His Dog And A Chicken', which Jesse co-produced and included Live It Up which reached #6 on the Rock Chart and 5 more of his songs.
During 1990 Jesse also wrote a song with Sammy Hagar, 'Fallen From Grace' that appeared on Heart's Double Platinum CD 'Brigade'.
Jesse left REO in 1991 to get married and focus on Songwriting for MCA Music. 1991 through 1995 were spent in L.A. as a staff writer producing songs that appeared on CD's by Patty Smyth (Gold Record), Bad English (European #1), MSG, and Johnny Van Zandt etc.
In 1996 Jesse co-wrote a song (Both Sides Now) with Sammy Hagar, which brought them back together. In 1997 Jesse worked on Sammy's 'Marching To Mars' CD, playing keyboards and co-writing 6 songs. Sammy and Jesse then put together a band that would later be called the Waboritas and toured in 1997-1998 to support the Album, which went Gold. In 1998-1999 Jesse was the co-producer and Pro-Tools engineer, as well as playing keys and singing on the Hagar CD 'Red Voodoo' which included 3 of his songs. The band toured in 1998-1999 to support the album which went Gold. The CD included the #1 rock track 'Mas Tequila' which helped launch Sammy's Cabo Wabo tequila brand.
In 2000 Jesse co-produced, played keys and sang on Sammy's 'Ten 13' CD which included one of his songs and the band toured into 2001 to support the album. In 2002 Sammy released 'Not 4 Sale' which included Jesse's song 'Things've Changed' which was the only single released from the CD. 2002-2003 also included the “Heavyweights of Rock” tour with David Lee Roth and more touring in support of the ill-fated Not 4 Sale.
In 2004 Jesse was the Producer and Pro-Tools engineer on Guitar Shorty's CD 'Watch Your Back' which also included 5 of his songs as well as writing, producing and engineering his own solo CD 'The Best of What I've Got'. Jesse also wrote 3 songs, including the title track, on Guitar Shorty's follow up CD 'We the People' which won the Handy Blues Award. In 2005 Jesse purchased a Marin Music Center in Novato, California which he operated until he sold it in 2019.
Jesse continues to write and record new music and a couple of new songs are included as part of his career spanning box set 'All Sides'.
01. I BELIEVE (Feat. Dave Amato, Dave Lauser, Ricky Phillips)(Recorded by Jimi Jamison & BB Steal)
02. LET IT RAIN (Feat. Dave Amato, Dave Lauser, Ricky Phillips)(Recorded by Ron Keel)
03. NINE ELEVEN (Feat. Dave Amato, Dave Lauser, Ricky Phillips)
04. HOME SWEET HOMICIDE (Feat. Dave Amato, Dave Lauser, Ricky Phillips)
06. ALL HEAVEN BROKE LOOSE (Recorded by REO Speedwagon)
07. WALK ON WATER (Feat. Ricky Phillips)(Recorded by Eddie Money)
08. FEAR OF FLYING (Feat. Ricky Phillips)
09. ALL I WANT IS YOU (Feat Dave Amato)(Recorded by Freddy Curci)
11. LIVE IT UP (Feat. Dave Amato, Ricky Phillips)(Recorded by REO Speedwagon)
12. MAKE A WISH (Recorded by Beau Nasty and Jesse Strange)
13. LOVE TO HATE (Recorded by REO Speedwagon)
14. LET IT COME TO YOU (Feat. Dave Amato)(Written for REO)
15. JUST TO BE LOVED BY YOU (Feat. Tim Pierce)(Produced by Kevin Beamish)
03. BOTH SIDES NOW (Written by Harms/Hagar)(Recorded by Sammy Hagar)
05. DON'T LOOK BACK (Written for Meat Loaf)
10. THINGS'VE CHANGED (Written by Harms/Hagar)(Recorded by Sammy Hagar)
01. A GOOD PLACE TO START (Written for Andrew Strong)
04. SONIC BOOM (Recorded by Guitar Shorty)
14. MOON (Inst)
DISC 4 (Guest Vocals)
01. FALLEN FROM GRACE - Sammy Hagar (Recorded by Heart)
02. DANGEROUS CURVES - Sammy Hagar (Written for Lita Ford)
03. MAYBE WRONG - Sammy Hagar (Written for 'Marching To Mars')
04. THIS TIME - Sammy Hagar (Written for 'Marching To Mars')
05. DEEP IN THE HEART OF XMAS - Sammy Hagar (Written for 'Jingle All The Way' Movie)
06. SHAKE IT UP - Kevin Cronin
07. HALFWAY - Kevin Cronin (Written by Harms/Cronin/Spiro)(Recorded by REO Speedwagon)
08. I WANT YOU BACK - Kevin Cronin (Written for REO Speedwagon)
09. WHEN IT'S LOVE, YOU KNOW - Kevin Cronin (Written for REO Speedwagon)
10. THE HEART SURVIVES - Kevin Cronin (Feat. Dave Amato)(Recorded by REO Speedwagon)
11. WHEN I'M GONE - Robin McAuley (Written for and recorded by MSG)
12. I'D BE LOST WITHOUT YOU - Robin McAuley
13. HOW FAST CAN WE FALL - Robin McAuley (Written with Sue Shifrin)
14. CHASING DOWN THE WIND - Robin McAuley (Recorded by John Waite & Tom Jones)
15. ALL I WANT IS YOU - Robin McAuley (Recorded by Freddy Curci)
16. LOVE IS STRONG - Robin McAuley
17. DON'T PROMISE ME MOON - Robin McAuley
DISC 5 (Guest Vocals)
01. MAKE ME A BELIEVER - Patty Smyth & Jesse Harms (Written for Patty Smyth)
02. I WON'T BE HOME TONIGHT - Patty Smyth (Written for Patty Smyth)
03. THE WELL RAN DRY - Teresa James
04. BODY AND SOUL - Teresa James (Feat. Ron Wikso)
05. CAN'T STOP THE FIRE - Der Strasse
07. HEART OF A STRANGER - Tommy Gervin (Written for Eddie Money)
08. THE MAN Inside - Teresa James
09. SHE NEEDS YOU MORE - Shaun Murphy
10. LET YOUR HEART DECIDE - Richard Black
11. THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT YOU - Kee Marcello
13. I NEVER LET YOU DOWN - Joe Turano (Written with FM)
14. LET MY GUITAR DO THE TALKING - Mike Finnegan (Recorded by Guitar Shorty)
15. DIG A LITTLE DEEPER - Rick Barron
16. ONCE IN A LIFETIME - Bill Champlin
DISC 6 (Guest Vocals)
01. RUN WILD - Adrian Gurvitz
02. RAIN ON THE ROOFTOPS - Adrian Gurvitz
03. DON'T LOOK DOWN (Original Version) - Don Barnes (Recorded by Don Barnes)
04. CHASING DOWN THE WIND - John Waite (Recorded by John Waite & Tom Jones)
05. SEARCHING FOR A LOVE - Tommy Funderburk
06. LAST NIGHT - Max Merritt
07. MORE BAD THAN GOOD - Greg Sutton
08. WALK IT LIKE YA TALK IT - Greg Sutton
09. MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY - Johnny Van Zant (Written for Johnny Van Zant)
10. LOVE CAN BE CRUEL - Johnny Van Zant (Written for and Recorded by Johnny Van Zant)
11. PRETTY THINGS - Danny Tate
12. MY WILDEST DREAM - Danny Tate
13. LIFE'S TOO SHORT - Billy Valentine
14. TOGETHER - Billy Valentine
15. MONEY CAN'T BUY IT - Jeff Wilson
17. THE FIRST STEP - Jeff Wilson (Written with Steve Plunkett)

REO Speedwagon - Kevin Cronin (2007)


Kevin Cronin: Finding His Own Way.

REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin talks everything behind and about the band's long awaited new studio album. Kevin is an extremely passionate guy - especially in regards to the new album - and I hope that shines through in this interview.

G'Day Kevin. First I must apologize for taking ten years to get you on the phone for an interview!
Well I apologize for our band being together since 1971 and having yet to play a gig in your entire country. That makes absolutely no sense to me.

Well you're in good company. There are some fine, fine bands that have never made it down here, unfortunately.
Yeah, well that doesn't make any sense. Our guitar player, Dave Amato spends a lot of time in Australia. He played guitar with Jimmy Barnes in it must have been the late '80s he spent a good deal of time in Australia. He's sort of hipped up to what to expect when we make it down there and it sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Well, one day I hope. You're actually doing a media storm over there in the States aren't you?
Yeah, we're kinda doing it the old fashioned was Andrew. We're kinda getting back to our roots. We've got a wretched Chevy station wagon and we're just driving from city to city around the Midwest, showing up in radio stations with our acoustic guitars and singing some songs.
You know, just hanging out on the radio having some fun with the DJs and just trying to spread the word that we've got a new CD out. It's been a while for us, so we're just doing it from the grass roots. I'll tell you what though it's a lot of fun. We're having a great time and we're finding that there's an awful lot of support for us out here in the heartland so it's really a good feeling.

OK, now you're driving from station to station which is good, but we all know how complicated the radio setup is over there. Can you actually break in with them to play new material for you?
Well, that's what we're doing here. It's pretty amazing. I wasn't really sure what kind of reception that we were gonna get with a brand new record. Part of what we're up against is that we have so many records that we've made over the years and so many of the radio stations still play our classics. And that's great. There's nothing wrong with that.
It's a wonderful thing but, to try to get them to play new music, like I said, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
The good news is that the songs and the performances on this new REO Speedwagon record are just kicking the door in for us. We're just sort of walking in behind it and the music is really speaking for itself. That's been extremely heartening.
We had an experience the other day that pretty much sums it up. We went to a classic rock station in Cleveland, Ohio which is right in the heartland of America here. We did our thing at the classic rock station. Of course they're predisposed to playing our music on their recurrent list so of course we were welcomed there with open arms.
In the studio right next door, in the same building was an alternative station called K-Rock which is aimed at 20 year olds and they're playing really cool music. The kind of music I really like listen to myself but you wouldn't expect to hear an REO Speedwagon record on K-Rock.
So one of the girls who was a producer of the show was a fan of ours and she saw us in the hallway. She came back in and told a couple of the radio personalities that REO Speedwagon was out in the hall. So he was like, 'Who's REO Speedwagon I don't really know much about them? I've kind of heard of them but I don't know much about their music.'
Well, he invited us into the studio, so we came in. There was a little sparring that went on at first but we kinda gained their respect and held our own and we became kinda friends with these guys. I had our single Smiling in the End in my hand and I said, 'I'll tell you what. Put this record on and let it play for a minute. If after a minute Dieter gives it the thumbs down, we'll take off the air and we're outta here, but if Dieter likes it, let it play.
So after a minute Dieter's like, dude this rocks, so he let it the whole song play and when it was over the phones lit up with like 20, 21, 23 year old kids from all these different cities that this station plays to and that to me was the ultimate complement. On the classic rock station, the people who had been with us since the beginning were calling in saying that they loved the track, then 10 minutes later the same song is on an alternative station and young people are calling in and responding to it. You know, that was pretty cool.

That reflects a definite frustration I voice on the site all the time, that people would buy this music if they had the chance to actually hear it!
Yeah, exactly, you know, we've been around a long time, but you know, personally, I've got three young kids at home but I feel pretty vibrant, pretty young at heart and actually I feel like I have more in common with some of the kids who are working at the alternative stations than I do with some of the guys at the classic stations.
Some of the guys at the classic stations act a little too old for me even though they're my age. I kind of relate more to the younger kids and it was really cool to see that the music is being accepted by a lot of people.
A friend of ours who also runs our website, her name is Ruth McCartney, you might recognize the last name, she's Paul's little sister. She grew up with some pretty good music around her, so she was one of the first people to come into the studio to hear the new record and her first comment right of the cuff was 'This new record is fresh and old school at the same time.' That was music to my ears Andrew because that was all we could expect. You know, that's where it's at out here in America.

I've got a few comments to run past you about the album, but first I'll jump to the fact that you're plugging Smiling in the End as a single. This is a really commercial album and my favorite song is that, but I would've almost expected you to go with something safer…the ballad for example.
Well you know, actually we've got two singles out at the same time because we couldn't really choose ourselves. Smiling in the End is a strong song and it rocks, then we have a song called I Needed to Fall which is kind of more along the lines of what people might expect from us. It's got the power ballad thing, but hopefully we've raised the bar a little bit on the power ballad as well.
So we've got both these songs out there and we're just depending on the radio station. Most the stations that we're going to are playing both of them, but there are some stations that can't really play Smiling it the End just because of their format they want something a little softer. We just want people to hear this music. I like all the songs on this record so I don't really care what songs get played so we're walking into these radio stations with both of them and they're both actually going over really well, believe it or not.

Well I believe it completely because I Needed to Fall is a wonderful ballad.
Well great, I'm glad to hear that you've heard the record Andrew. That makes me feel better that I don't have to explain it to you. That's good.

I was actually playing it when the phone rang.
Oh good.

I think it's a great record. Really, really sharp production, I think it's very fresh. Couple of songs I'm not so in to…a little country slant on a couple of tunes there Kevin?
Yeah, I've got a little country in me somewhere. (laughing)

But for the most part it's a wonderful, wonderful record, and very fresh, very fresh. Well I appreciate that Andrew. Thank you very much. We put a lot of work into it, I'll tell you that.

The first four tracks in particular I think are four classic REO Speedwagon songs. Well again man thank you very much. I appreciate the support.

I love Find Your Own Way Home and I Needed to Fall is just, like I said a classic ballad. There hasn't been a really good power ballad for a while and that hits the spot like that song does.
These songs, especially those first four songs you're talking about, and there are other ones on the record. You know the years between 2003, 2004 and 2005, I'll be straight with you. I was going through a dark period.
There were some things going on and really this music was born from that darkness and I think a lot of times that's where some of the strongest songs come from. I guess I kind of hit an icy patch in the road type of thing and the car kind of spun out and ended up in a ditch. I used the metaphor earlier today because it seems to apply. I kinda looked around the ditch and there were Bruce and Dave and Neal laying there next to me.
You know, we all kinda hit the same rough patch at the same time but in different ways. I started writing because it was almost like my kind of therapy.
The other guys were going through some crazy stuff too, I don't know, mid-life or whatever, but there was a camaraderie that came for all of us winding up in a ditch at the same time and trying to claw our way out and find our own way home you might say. We all kind of had this passion in us and so we kind of really bonded, not only as a band and musicians but also as friends as well. I think that's where some of the magic on this record comes from is because we were all kind of in that place and you know misery loves company.
We kind of all had each other to bounce off of. It was a tough time to go through but the fact that we all had each other allowed us to help each other through it and help each other out of it. It's been quite an experience and like I said we didn't really expect to make another record. This record kind of made us. It kinda just happened without us really trying and I guess there's something to be said for that as well. These songs just needed to be written and the just came, I wouldn't say effortlessly but they came almost like an emergency vehicle.



I must say that in all my years of listening I've always had a soft spot for albums with emotional depth.
Well yeah you know that's just about it. Too many people, when it comes to album, they've kind of lost the concept of an album. You know in this day and age of downloading tunes from the internet. The fact is, too many artists have released records where there's one or maybe two songs with any substance and a lot of songs that don't really connect with anyone so you end up with people getting disillusioned with the whole idea of an album.
Part of the reason why we spent so much time on this album is because we didn't want to put any filler songs on there. We sequenced the songs in a way that sort of made sense to us, so the story get told this way. So we're really kind of promoting the idea that an album is a worthwhile art form. That songs are meant to be heard in a certain sequence that the guys who made the record wanted them to be heard. So we're hoping that we can get people back to listening to songs as an album, in sequence and kind of get the vibe from the whole thing. That's kind of one of our underlying missions here.

Amen to that because there's nothing finer than an album that flows start to finish like a story and you've definitely described this album perfectly because it does just that. You really have got a good sequence I think.
Are you ready for this? We actually mixed this album in sequence. I've never done that before. Usually when you get into the mixing you're thinking about songs more sonically and all kinds of things come into play when you're deciding what order to mix the songs in.
In this one, we'd had this sequence for a long time ever since we had the rough mixes. So when it came time to mix it we all just went 'We've got to keep it in sequence, these songs just belong in this order.' It was pretty cool in that way.
I was kind of surprised that it happened that way but in a way kind of not surprised because these songs were really meant to be heard in the order we put them in so that was pretty cool.

The music business changes obviously all the time. The changes between your last studio album and this one couldn't possible be more great could they?
Well yeah that's true. The music business has been turned on its ear certainly in America. I'm not sure what's happening down there in Australia.

It's the same.
And maybe it needed it. That's kinda what I feel like. It's almost like our song I Needed to Fall. It's like sometimes you do. You need to fall sometimes and I think maybe the music industry needed to fall a little bit because it was getting bloated and there were just too many people putting out CDs with one or two good songs on them and eventually that's gonna backfire.
People work hard man, and you're putting out $15 - $16 dollars for something it had better be more than one or two good songs. I think the music industry just kind of got full of itself and record companies got full of themselves.
Record companies were and have been notorious for ripping off artists ever since the days of Little Richard and Chuck Berry in the very beginning. Then I think artists kind of got the feeling that they got back in the game, but really when you look at it, ever since we stopped recording for a major label we kind of paid a little more attention.
We never really paid attention to our recording contracts or anything and it's amazing the things that artists are charged for by record companies. Things that are insane.
You know were good friend with the guys in Cheap Trick and those guys have got a law suit against the record company because they're still getting charged breakage. Breakage is something that was from old days when records were made of plastic and some of the records would end up getting to the store broken and the artist would have to absorb that expense. We're still getting charged for breakage when people download things from itunes. It's like, wait a second, you can't break a download. This is crazy, so the record companies, I feel kind of sorry for them because we were part of that system, but you know, they kinda dug their own grave by being greedy. This was just bound to happen eventually. So now there's an upheaval going on and everybody kind of like the wild, wild west out here and every different artist has a different idea of how to do it. It's pretty refreshing because now the playing field's a little bit more leveled and we've kind of found our way. Everyone gotta find their own way and I kind of dig it. It's kind of fun. Everything's new, everything's exciting. You can't just fall back into old habits. You've got to reinvent yourself in a number of ways. I'm into that, into things changing, growing and not being stale.

You've definitely chosen your own path, so leading into that, what brought you to Walmart as an option?
Well that was just total luck. You know when we started making this record it was really strictly a labor or love. We've been touring every year since we started. We've been doing fine. There're plenty of gigs for us, we've been playing great places and our fans are totally loyal. Like I say, the classic rock radio stations keep our music in people's ears to the point that there was no real need to make a new record.
When I started writing these songs and everyone started getting into playing new songs we went into the studio more or less just to do it with no expectations, no record label, nothing. Then, as the process started going along, people started reacting positively to the music. Every once in a while we do a corporate show. It's a private show where no one sells tickets like a company will have a convention or some kind of get together. They hire you and you come in and play a show.
It's a nice thing because there's no pressure, you just come in and play the gig. So we did a show out in Arkansas for the Walmart people. It was outside on a farm and one of the guys who's in charge of music there, his name is Troy was a bass player in a band when he was in high school and he used to play our music. He was telling us that story and I was talking to him about the new record we were making and he was like, 'oh man I'd love to hear it'. So we took a walk, got on the tour bus, had a couple beers and threw on the rough mixes of what was going to become the Find You Own Way Home album. He really got into them, really liked them and we just through some ideas around and that was it. Nothing really came of it, but about 6 or 8 months later he called back and asked how it was going so we sent him the finished record. He really got off on it and the next think we knew we were working with Walmart and who'd a thunk, they'd be really cool?
They have this reputation for being this awful empire when really the guys there are totally cool. They're just like you and me, they love music and they're doing their best to get music out to the people. I don't know what's happening in Australia, but here a lot of the record stores, like Tower Records, are out of business. Most of the record stores are gone, so the only place you can go is to a big chain store. What are you gonna do? You can fight the powers that be or you can find a way to get your music out to the people. Most REO Speedwagon fans are not the hoity toity LA, New York people.
They're people that live in the heartland and work hard for a living and they go to Walmart to go shopping and our music is there. It was kind of a stroke of luck for us that we met these guys and they're really helping us out. They're gonna get our music out to the people that want it so we're going with it. So far, so good.

Fantastic. I was under the impression that it was a Walmart exclusive but nobody got a one month window. Is that right?
Walmart asked us for a three week exclusive on it which seemed fair enough to me and it's great because they had this idea to put more than just Find Your Own Way Home CD in there. There's actually three disks that are coming out. In fact 5 minutes before you called I just got the deluxe box set. Our tour manager just delivered it.





I love the look of that so we have to talk about that.
Yeah, there's three disks in there. There's a DVD of an unplugged performance that we did. We played at the Superbowl about a month and a half ago, then we went up to Washington DC and did an unplugged performance. So there's a DVD of that with a bunch of interview footage. There's another CD of us playing the entire High Infidelity record with the current band lineup right in sequence and some enhanced footage on there as well, plus the new CD. So it's pretty exciting.
They're really making it into a special event for the release of the record. It's pretty awesome at this point in the game to be doing what people are calling our best record ever. Andrew I think there's a misconception that artists hit their peak in their late twenties and from then on it's down hill. I just feel like I'm just kind of hitting my stride right now and our band is just kind of finding it's potential with this record.
So we're out to shatter those misconceptions and show that you can be a creative person well into your life. There's no reason to think that just because you've hit a certain age that it's time to give up. It's time to stay young, healthy and vital. Keep your energy level positive and live life to the fullest.

Fantastic words because of all the artists I cover a lot of them are getting older but there's no reason to stop working at all.
There's no reason to just start resting on what you've done in the past because you never know what you might come up with. Hey the Rolling Stones are still out there and they're a few years ahead of us and they're still doing great. You see the Stones and Mick Jagger's singing, I think better than he ever has, and he's still all over the stage. They've still got the same attitude, they look great, they're in shape. I mean, come on, let's keep this rock 'n roll train a going in the right direction.

Absolutely. Well speaking of live performances you've obviously received a blow with the unfortunate death of Brad Delp.
I'm just still not right with that man, I gotta tell you. You know, Boston played their first live gig opening for us in St Louis so I've know them from the very beginning. Both bands were on Epic records so we used to cross paths with them all the time over the years. Brad was just, well I related to Brad because kind of had the same attitude about being in a band and about playing music as we do. None of us really have that ego, you know, any of that Rock Star stuff going on. We just like to play music and Brad was the same way. Just a good guy, down to earth and just a likeable person and man I was as shocked as anyone when I heard what happened.
It just doesn't make sense to me and it's definitely kind of made take another look at things because I would have never guessed in my wildest dreams that that would ever have happened with Brad. It just kinda goes to show that you've really got to pay attention to the people around you.
If you see anybody's behavior change, and I'm not saying that Brad did. I hadn't seen him in a couple years but you just never know what's going on inside of a person and it really pays to pay close attention to the people that are closest to you. Like I say, you would have never known from the outside that that would have happened to Brad and sure enough, look what happened.

So, with that in mind, and the package with Boston playing, have you come up with an alternative yet?
Well yeah, it definitely threw us for a loop there obviously. I mean Brad's death was a shock and then once you get over the initial shock of that you go wow we were probably gonna play 80 concerts with them all over the US and who knows where else. Fortunately for us we've got a lot of friends in a lot of band and we've got a couple of things that we're looking at now. It looks like we're probably going to be going out with ZZ Top.
I think that'll be a lot of fun and a big festival kind of thing that's going to being going around the states. We'll probably do that in the summer then with any luck we'll be working with Cheap Trick toward the late summer, early fall. There was actually talk last winter of coming down to Australia with Cheap Trick. Were they down there like last winter? Well I guess it would be summer for you guys.

No it got cancelled. They haven't been down here since 1990. I actually saw that show when the came down. They were going to come down here with sort of a current day line up of theme music, but it got cancelled.
We were offered those shows and that would have been our first time to play in Australia, but we just weren't ready. We were still in the studio mixing but we're hoping to be able to pull something together with Cheap Trick later in the year. I'll tell you it's really the whole bunch of us now. We're all in this together.

It is more of a brotherhood now isn't it?
It sure is.

I mean how many bands from the '90s are still out there verses the real bands from the '80s and look how many of them are kicking.
Yeah, we're still doing it and still going strong. That's why it's a shame that we haven't played in Australia. The people in Australia, perhaps they've heard our records on the radio but if you haven't seen us live, it's such a big part of what we do. We been really fortunate that our records have been very successful, but I don't think they do our live shows justice. I think our new record does.
I think it pretty much captures what we do, and when we play those songs live it's pretty much what we did on the record, what you see is what you get. As far as the classics, I would just love to be able to come down and show the Australian rock fans what we can do.

Well we'd love to have you and I must say that I did see one of your shows. I was in LA in 2002 and saw the Journey/Styx/REO show.
Oh, you did, at the Staples Center?

Yeah, in fact, I was back stage with the band afterward and you came running past and I thought 'oh I've gotta get your attention and say Hi' but you didn't come back.
I think that was the night that the guy who owns the Staples Center, who is actually from St Louis, one of the big REO Speedwagon towns in America, came in and asked me if there was anything he could do for me. I'm like a big basketball fan so I said yeah, I want to see the Lakers' locker room. No one else could get me in there except him, so he walked me over to the Lakers' locker room, brought me right into the players' room. He had like this magic laser machine that could open any door anywhere so he opened up Shaq's locker. He took a pair of shoes out that he'd left there and gave them to me to bring home. So that night I was just running around backstage with this gigantic shoe just on cloud nine. I live in LA now so at this point in the game to play to a sell out crowd in the Staple Center felt awfully good. I was feeling pretty high that night.

That was a huge crowd. It was pretty remarkable. I said to Neal if only every one of them would finally get off their ass and buy a new record.
Well yeah, but we didn't have a new record then, so we're hoping that some of those people that saw us will hear this new record on the radio and who knows? Maybe we'll turn some people on who saw us back in that 2002.

Absolutely, great stuff, anything else that you'd like to add in?
I think you've covered it Andrew. You've pretty much got it down. Like I say, were rearing to get down there to Australia. Like I said, Dave Amato played guitar for Jimmy Barnes down there and he said 'You haven't really experienced it, I can't describe to you what it's like to play rock 'n roll music in Australia, you've gotta just go down there and do it.' That got my appetite whet man and I'm really looking forward to getting down there. I hope we do, and if we do we'll have to hang out back stage and have a beer together.

Well that sounds good and if there's anything I can do to help make that happen then give me a shout.
Alright Andrew, that sounds good buddy.


c. 2007 / Interview by Andrew McNeice / Transcribed By Sherrie







Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon - LOU GRAMM, KEVIN CRONIN

Podcasts & Radio
On this episode of Westwood One's Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon, new interviews with singer LOU GRAMM, REO SPEEDWAGON's Kevin Cronin and Colin Blunstone of THE ZOMBIES. Drummer John Humphrey of SEETHER ( co-hosts.
Up first, LOU GRAMM talks about the upcoming reunion show with FOREIGNER and reveals plans for more. Also, a possible upcoming EP with Mick Jones, being a team player, Foreigner's musical direction at the time, making 'good rock songs', the Shadow King album with Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell, the Foreigner album Unusual Heat, what does Mick Jones mean to Lou both personally & professionally, the album Mr. Moonlight and the terrific song White Lie, his thoughts on present day Foreigner, and much more.
Our second interview is with REO SPEEDWAGON's Kevin Cronin. We talk touring with CHICAGO, making new music, his sons' foray into music with their band Sir, Please, their set list & adding new songs like Whipping Boy, tinkering with the songs live, his upcoming memoir, the recent charity event with Sammy Hagar, a solo album, plan to release demos, and he responds to the jokingly put assertion that they've been on a 42 year reunion tour.
And we close the episode with a chat with THE ZOMBIES Colin Blunstone. We discuss their upcoming tour with Uriah Heep, the fake The Zombies, ZZ Top, breaking up, Rod Argent, creating new music, his solo career, brand over band, Neil MacArthur, Alan Parsons, and more. 
Co-host John Humphrey of Seether adds his thoughts about Lou Gramm, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, The Zombies, gives a Seether update, talks KISS & Eric Carr, The Nixons (new music coming) and more. 

STYX Already Packing Up Shows For 2018

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Tour News
December 4, 2017 -- Legendary and multi-Platinum rockers STYX--Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitars), James “JY” Young (vocals, guitars), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass), along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo—are getting ready to wrap up another busy year of touring in the U.S., having performed over 100 shows. They’re not showing any signs of taking a break from touring in 2018.
Earlier this summer, STYX announced another special five-night limited engagement with DON FELDER -at The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian Las Vegas. Presented by SiriusXM, “Styx & Don Felder: Renegades In The Fast Lane,” will take place at The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian Las Vegas on January 26, 27, 31 and February 2, 3, 2018. Tickets are on sale now at,, any box office at The Venetian or The Palazzo, or by calling 702 414 9000 or 866 641 7469. 
In addition to the residency in Las Vegas, the rest of STYX’s 2018 tour schedule is already starting to take shape. They’ll join forces once again with fellow legends REO SPEEDWAGON, and very special guest star DON FELDER—formerly of the Eagles—for month-long trek starting in Duluth, MN on March 13 at the Amsoil Arena. Tickets for various cities go on sale starting December 1.
STYX is on the road in support of their highly anticipated and critically acclaimed 16th studio album, THE MISSION, which skyrocketed onto various Billboard charts—including #6 on the “Top Rock Albums” and #11 “Vinyl Albums” charts--upon its release thanks to a solid album that connected with their longtime fans as well as new fans who are discovering them for the first time. 
THE MISSION--which was recorded over a two-year period at Blackbird Studios, The Shop, and 6 Studio Amontillado in Nashville--displays the best aspects of the ongoing in-harmony musical intersection of the six-man STYX team: the guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw, co-founding guitarist/vocalist James “JY” Young, keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan, original bassist Chuck Panozzo, drummer/percussionist Todd Sucherman, and bassist Ricky Phillips.
Check out STYX at any of the following stops (with more to be announced on in the coming weeks):
DATE        CITY            VENUE
Thu 1/18    Tupelo, MS        Bancrop South Arena
Fri 1/19        Lake Charles, LA    Golden Nugget Lake Charles
Tue 1/23    Salt Lake City, UT    Delta Hall at Eccles Theatre
Fri 1/26        Las Vegas, NV        Venetian Theatre/The Venetian
Sat 1/27    Las Vegas, NV        Venetian Theatre/The Venetian
Sun 1/28    Beverly Hills, CA    Saban Theatre
Wed 1/31    Las Vegas, NV        Venetian Theatre/The Venetian
Fri 2/2        Las Vegas, NV        Venetian Theatre/The Venetian
Sat 2/3        Las Vegas, NV        Venetian Theatre/The Venetian
Wed 2/21    Pasadena, CA        The Rose
Thu 2/22    Phoenix, AZ        Celebrity Theatre
Sat 2/24    Pala, CA        Pala Casino & Resort
Fri 3/2        French Lick, IN        French Lick Resort and Casino
Sat 3/3        New Buffalo, MI        Silver Creek Event Center
Mon 3/5    Jamaica        ‘70s Rock & Romance Cruise
With REO Speedwagon and Don Felder:
Tue 3/13    Duluth, MN        Amsoil Arena
Wed 3/14    Bismarck, ND        Bismarck Event Center
Fri 3/16        Brookings, SD        Swiftel Center
Sat 3/17    Moline, IL        TaxSlayer Center
Mon 3/19    Grand Rapids, MI    Van Andel Arena
Tue 3/20    Saginaw, MI        Dow Event Center Arena
Fri 3/23        Cape Girardeau, MO    Show Me Center - SMSU
Sat 3/24    Springfield, MO        JQH Arena (No Don Felder)
Sun 3/25    Park City, KS        Hartman Arena
Wed 4/4            Charlottesville, VA         John Paul Jones Arena
Fri 4/6        Huntington, WV        Big Sandy Superstore Arena
Sat 4/7        Greenville, SC        Bon Secours Arena
Sun 4/8        Tuscaloosa, AL        Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre
Tue 4/10    N. Little Rock, AR    Verizon Arena
Wed 4/11    Lafayette, LA        Cajun Dome
Sat 4/14    Orange Beach, AL    The Wharf Amphitheatre
Sun 4/15    Charleston, SC        North Charleston Coliseum



DEF LEPPARD Lineup 55 North American Dates for 2016

Tour News
DEF LEPPARD have announced they will return to the road this summer for an extensive tour across North America due to overwhelming demand. The Live Nation promoted outing will storm through 55 cities across all parts of the U.S. and Canada.  It is set to kick off on May 1st in Orlando, FL and wrap on October 10th in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Joining Def Leppard on their mighty summer outing are REO Speedwagon and TESLA.   Tickets will go on sale starting on March 4th at
Rock Brigade Concert Club Pre-Sale & VIP Packages are available March 1st at 12 pm (local)  RE-SALE & VIP PACKAGES ARE AVAILABLE MARCH 1 at 12pm (local).
May 1 – Orlando, FL (Moonstone Festival)  – On Sale now
May 4 – Lafayette, LA (Cajundome)*  – On Sale now
May 5 – Corpus Christi, TX (American Bank Center)* – On Sale now
May 7 – Hidalgo, TX (State Farms Arena)* – On Sale now
May 10 – Bossier City, LA (Century Link Center) – On Sale now
May 11 – Little Rock, AR (Verizon Arena)
May 13 – Greensboro, NC (Greensboro Coliseum) – On Sale now
May 15 – Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun Arena) – On Sale now
May 17 – Allentown, PA (PPL Center) – On Sale now
May 18 – Huntington, WV (Big Sandy Arena) – On Sale now
May 20 – Orlando, FL (Amway Center)** – On Sale now
June 22 – Boston, MA (Xfinity Center)
June 24 – Bangor, ME (Darling’s Waterfront)
June 25 – Quebec City, QC (Videotron Centre)
June 27 – Syracuse, NY (Lakeview Amphitheater)
June 29 – Hershey, PA (Hershey Park Stadium)
July 1 – Indianapolis, IN (Klipsch Music Center)
July 2 – Chicago, IL (Hollywood Casino)
July 5 – Cincinnati, OH (Riverbend Music Center)
July 6 – Milwaukee, WI  (Summerfest)
July 8 – Pittsburgh, PA (First Niagara Pavillion)
July 9 – Grand Rapids, MI (Van Andel Arena)
July 11 – Wantagh, NY (Nikon at Jones Beach)
July 13 – Holmdel, NJ  (PNC Bank Arts Center)
July 15 – Detroit, MI (DTE Music Theatre)
July 16 – Toronto, ON (Molson Canadian Amphitheater)
August 6 – Madison, WI (Alliant Energy Center)
August 8 – Evansille, IN (Ford Center)
August 10 – Bristow, VA (Jiffy Lube Center)
August 12 – Atlanta, GA (Aaron’s Amphitheater)
August 13 – Raleigh, NC (Walnut Creek Amphitheater)
August 17 – Birmingham, AL (Oak Mountain Amphitheater)
August 19 – Austin, TX (Austin 360)
August 22 – Houston, TX (Cynthia Woods Pavilion)
August 24 – Dallas, TX (Gexa Energy Pavilion)
August 26 – Kansas City, MO (Sprint Center)
August 27 – ST. Louis, MO (Hollywood Casino Amphitheater)
August 29 – Cleveland, OH (Blossom Music Center)
August 31 – Darien Center, NY(Darien Lake PAC)
Sept 14 – Billings, MT (Metra Park)
Sept 16 – Salk Lake City, UT (USANA Amphitheater)
Sept 17 – Denver, CO (Pepsi Center)
Sept 19 – Albuquerque, NM (Isleta Amphitheater)
Sept 20 – Phoenix, AZ (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Sept 22 – Irvine, CA (Irvine Meadows Amphitheater)
Sept 24 – Sacramento, CA (Toyota Amphitheater)***
Sept 25 – Mountain View, CA (Shoreline Amphitheater)
Sept 28 – Boise, ID (Taco Bell Arena)
Sept 30 – Eugene, OR (Matthew Knight Arena)
Oct 1 – Tacoma, WA (Tacoma Dome)
Oct 4 – Omaha,NE (CenturyLink Center)
Oct 5 – Minneapolis, MN (Xcel Center)
Oct 7 – La Crosse, WI (La Crosse Center Arena)
Oct 8 – Toledo, OH (Huntington Center)
Oct 10 – Cedar Rapids, IA (U.S. Cellular Center)
*STYX to appear  / No REO Speedwagon
**No REO Speedwagon
*** No TESLA
****Pre-sale and on-sale dates vary by venue click here for more details

REO Speedwagon 1980 'Hi Infidelity' #1 Album Caps Long Road To Top

Release Year: 
Podcasts & Radio

Dallas, TX - November 24, 2015.  North American syndicated Rock radio show and website InTheStudio: The Stories Behind Historys Greatest Rock Bands spotlights the 1980 # 1 album Hi Infidelity from REO Speedwagon with singer/songwriter Kevin Cronin and keyboardist/ co-founder Neal Doughty.

If REO Speedwagon was a baseball team, the statistics from their 1980-81 season would be as follows: 9 - High Infidelity was the bands ninth studio album; 4- the number of times REO Speedwagon changed lead singers; 2 - the number of times Kevin Cronin was hired to be that lead singer; 5 - the number of charted singles from that sole album; 1- the chart sales peak of both the Hi Infidelity album and its first single Keep on Loving You; 15 - the number of weeks as the top- seller in the US; 10,000,000+ - the number of copies sold of REO Speedwagons High Infidelity album.

In a lot of ways, REO Speedwagon was much like the Midwest region from which they sprang at the University of Illinois at Champaign, solid unassuming hard-charging musical journeymen determined to make it.  InTheStudio host Redbeard rolls through the changes that made REO the biggest band in America in 1980 with singer/ songwriter Kevin Cronin and co-founder keyboardist Neal Doughty. 

I think it was the frustration that kept us going. We knew we could do it. We werent going to quit one record before the big one. - Neal Doughty

Kevin Cronin remembers the contributions that the late Gary Richrath gave to the band prior to Richraths September death.                    
Gary used to write tons of songs... He put this song on (Take It on the Run) and from the very opening, Heard it from a friend who hear it from a friend just got me. I think its Garys best song ever. Of all the songs written, I think its the most emotional hes ever gotten with his lyrics.  - Kevin Cronin

REO Speedwagon  Hi Infidelity @ 35 /InTheStudio interview is available now to STREAM at:

Direct Link to InTheStudio broadcast affiliate radio station list:

Direct Link to REO Speedwagon website:

Direct Link to InTheStudio website:



Release Year: 
News Feed
Reports are streaming in that former REO Speedwagon guitarist GARY RICHRATH has died overnight. 
Condolences have been posted online by his solo band mates - including singer TOMMY EDWARDS and his drummer TIM FIERS, who confirmed the passing, having spoken to Gary's wife earlier today.
RIP Gary - as always, the world is a better place for your contributions to it and the music world suffers a great loss at your passing.
Kevin Cronin has now posted on behalf or REO:
Hi friends, kc here. My longtime friend and collaborator Gary Richrath passed away earlier today. 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. 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...kc

PS. This photo has been on my music room table for as long as I can remember, and will stay there.

REO Speedwagon's photo.



REO SPEEDWAGON Fall Short at Los Angeles Concert

Monday, August 4, 2014
Tour News

By Gerry Gittelson Los Angeles correspondent

LOS ANGELES - In the context of all rock performances, REO Speedwagon proved relatively entertaining with an hour-long concert set Friday, Aug. 1 at the famed Greek Theatre. Yet based on the American group's own standards through decades of successful arena tours, hit singles and one of the greatest melodic-rock albums of all time in 1981 with 'Hi-Infidelity,' the fivesome pretty much stunk up the place.

Just about every hit song was ruined by intentionally slowing the tempo ' not to mention being tuned down at least one step ' and there was definitely something wrong with the way Kevin Cronin was singing; that's something unusual because Cronin is usually the best thing about REO Speedwagon.

Perhaps this was on off-night because Cronin's voice might have been strained ' sometimes he was kind of talking the lyrics instead of actually singing them ' or perhaps REO Speedwagon felt it was a good idea to slow things down so considerably because they're touring with Chicago, a more mellow act than REO Speedwagon's usual tour-mates like Styx or Journey over the past ten years or so.

At any rate, the whole thing was rather disappointing because surely we were not the only ones who wanted to hear such selections as 'Keep On Loving You' and 'Can't Fight This Feeling' executed just as we remember them from our car radios.

Instead of jumping up and going crazy like most would on a summer weekend night in the band's adopted home city, the crowd mostly remained in their chairs and politely applauded, but it was clear to most of us that something was just not right.

Plus, Cronin did way too much talking between songs, even though he is generally charismatic and delightfully glib, and there were too many unfamiliar selections for such a short set. A lot of big hits were there, but there was a lot of filler, too, with 'Music Man,' 'That Ain't Love' and an abysmal new one called 'Whipping Boy.'

REO Speedwagon was rounded out by guitarist Dave Amato, bassist Bruce Hall (who like usual sang 'Back on The Road Again'), keyboardist Neal Doughty, and aptly named drummer Bryan Hitt.

To be fair, though the concert seemed like a double bill, Chicago played last and were the real headliners, so this was essentially their crowd and not REO Speedwagon's, though back in the day REO was probably bigger at its peak yet has not sold as many records total nor enjoyed as many hits overall.

Chicago killed, even without long-gone original singer Peter Cetera, as the jazzy six-piece really got the crowd going with their catchy soft rock.

Then, after Chicago has been going for a little more than an hour, REO Speedwagon returned to the stage to join in, so there were 11 musicians up there ' including three percussionists ' and together they all played six more songs, including 'Ridin' The Storm Out,' 'Keep On Loving You' and 'Roll With The Changes,' and by this point REO Speedwagon had pretty much salvaged the night and returned to our good graces.

The last song, Chicago's '25 or 6 to 4,' saw the singers from both bands taking turns, and the whole thing was pretty cool.
Subscribe to REO Speedwagon