On September 13, 2015, REO Speedwagon’s friend, band mate, and creative collaborator, Gary Richrath unexpectedly passed away. Best known as lead guitar player for the band, Richrath joined the band in the early years, and wrote, produced, and played along side the band members until 1989 when he ventured out in a solo career.
Best known for his “Riding The Storm Out” and “Take It On The Run”, this guitar player’s solos were highlights in these and numerous other songs the band released over the years. In 1989, Richrath ventured out on his own and in 1992 released his only solo album Only The Strong Survive.
In 2013, Richrath once again joined the band at “Rock To The Rescue”, a benefit to raise money for those effected by the tornadoes in Illinois that year. Calling in a favor from his golf buddy, Larry The Cable Guy, Richrath and Dan (real name) headed to Illinois to join the group and several others to raise money to help those in need while their communities were rebuilt. Joining the band on stage for the encore of “Riding The Storm Out”, the crowd went crazy and hairs stood on end as a moment that those there will never forget.
Gary Richrath will forever be revered as one of the greatest guitar players in the business, an amazing songwriter, and his fans, friends, and family will miss him.