Gary Richrath, guitarist and songwriter for REO Speedwagon, has died, the band has revealed.
“My longtime friend and collaborator Gary Richrath passed away earlier today,” front man Kevin Cronin revealed in a post on the band’s website and Facebook page on Sunday. “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.”
Richrath was born October 18, 1949 in Peoria, IL. He was a member of REO Speedwagon from 1970 until 1989, writing many of the band’s hits including “Golden Country,” “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” and “Take It On the Run.”
In 2013, Richrath reunited with REO Speedwagon during a benefit concert in Bloomington, IL. He performed “Ridin’ the Storm Out” with the band, to end the set.
Richrath was 65. A cause of death has not been revealed.