Former REO Speedwagon guitarist Gary Richrath has died at the age of 65.
Frontman Kevin Cronin has confirmed his former colleague’s passing via Facebook.
He says: “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.”
Richrath played with REO from 1970 through to 1989 and wrote a number roof their hit including Take It On The Run. He released a solo album called Only The Strong Survive in 1992 and reunited briefly with REO in 2013 for a show to raise money for families affected by a tornado that hit Illinois.
Tim Fiers, the drummer in Richrath’s solo band, says: “I’m so proud and thankful I was able to play music with Gary Richrath. It was an honour to call him a friend and bandmate. In my opinion, one of the greatest guitarists the state of Illinois has ever produced. My deepest condolences to Justine Richrath and Gary’s family.”