Gary Richrath, Guitarist and Songwriter for REO Speedwagon

Take It On The Run-Live

Gary Richrath (October 18, 1949-September 13, 2015) was instrumental in perfecting a form of power ballad that helped catapult REO Speedwagon into the charts in the 1970s and 1980s.

As lead guitarist for the band from 1970-1989, he contributed to such #1 hits as “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “Keep On Loving You.”

Can’t Fight This Feeling

Songs would typically begin quietly, with the near choirboy vocals of Kevin Cronin, only to build to screeching guitar solos on Richrath’s sunburst Gibson Les Paul.

It was a style that had something for everybody: sensitive lyrics about the highs and lows of young romance, balanced by the testosterone-infused fretwork of Richrath’s blazing guitar.

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