REO Speedwagon Guitarist Gary Richrath Dies at 65

Kimberly RipleyLife

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REO Speedwagon band members are mourning the death of their former guitarist, Gary Richrath, who died on Sunday at the age of 65.

Richrath was part of the band known for hits like "Take It On the Run" and "Can't Fight This Feeling." He served one of the guitarists for REO Speedwagon from 1971 to 1989. He co-wrote some of the bands hits, including "Take It On the Run."

"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," REO Speedwagon's lead singer, Kevin Cronin, wrote on the band's website and Facebook page. "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."

Gary Richwath performed with REO Speedwagon in 2013 for a benefit concert to raise money for tornado victims in Illinois.

Richrath released a solo album called "Only the Strong Survive" back in 1992. REO Speedwagon's album "Hi Infidelity" sold 10 million copies in the U.S. in the 1980s.

Are or were you an REO Speedwagon fan? Do you like the present band or the performances and songs from the earlier days?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.