Former REO Speedwagon Guitarist Gary Richrath Passes

CHAMPAIGN, IL (CelebrityAccess) — Former REO Speedwagon guitarist and songwriter Gary Richrath has died. Richrath was 65 at the time of his passing.

In a post on the band's Facebook page, REO Speedwagon's frontman Kevin Cronin wrote:

"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."

Richrath joined the REO Speedwagon in 1970, three years after the band was formed and performed with them as the band rose to national prominence.

Richrath recorded twelve albums with the band and co-wrote a number of the band's hits, including "Golden Country" from 1972, "Ridin' the Storm Out" (1973), "Son of a Poor Man" (1973), "Flying Turkey Trot" (1976), "Only the Strong Survive" (1979) and "Take It On the Run" from 1981.

Following his tenure with REO Speedwagon, Richrath released one solo album and briefly rejoined REO Speedwagon in 2013 for a benefit concert. – Staff Writers