Our 2014 Summer Tour with REO
by on September 19, 2014 in Miscellaneous

Ok, I’ve said it a million times before… I never planned… and I can’t say I wasn’t a believer… I really didn’t think that much about it… but if asked, I’d probably have told you my opinion… all of that hocus pocus stuff of *thinking* about what you want… and it’ll happen… (Law of attraction, etc.), visualizing… meditating, praying… whatever one wants to call it… I really didn’t think about it too much… or at least paying attention to the signs along the way…

I didn’t have the confidence to think I could “Map it out”… come up with a plan…

Amazing though when now, when I look back on my life I see it’s happened the whole time…

Things pop up… and they keep coming back around… kind of like the song Greg Barnhill, Jimmy Pankow and I wrote… “Love Lives On”.

“And even what we leave behind us, someday will come back to find us”…

So there I was back in 1981 or so and I was at my girlfriend’s house, at the time, Pat, and she was sharing a place in LA with a guy who had worked with her in one of her San Diego top 40 bands… his name, (road name), was Motor.

Motor came busting through the door one night saying “We’re number 1!!!”

“Keep On Loving You” had just hit #1 on the Billboard hot 100 and I believe the album was there as well… it certainly got there!  It was one of the biggest albums of the year!

I just thought back on the previous year when I was at “Sound City” with Tom and John Keane recording our 2nd “Keane” album… (it was their 2nd, my first)… and I was walking the hall of that studio seeing the records on the wall…”Damn The Torpedos”, “Rick Springfield”… this was many years before Nirvana came and made history there…

Like I said, It was somewhere around 1980 I was in there recording with the Keane Brothers… and one day REO was in there… they were also up in the upper parking lot where they had installed a basketball court and they were playing… we were down in the lower parking lot dreaming…

So when Motor came in so excited that they had hit #1 I had this feeling of, “Wow, I’m THAT close to it!  Maybe if I’m just within proximity it’ll happen for me one day!”

Well, cut to just a few short years later… I remember “I Can’t Stop This Feeling” hitting the charts… somewhere around 1984?  And remembering my brush with them… it seemed like a lifetime before that and in your early 20’s it is a lifetime… a stretch of 3 or 4 years…

Around that time, I remember meeting Bruce Hall, the bass player of REO and I’ve told this story many times and MANY times over this last summer… starting with Bruce’s family backstage this summer…

I told them that here I was, this punk kid meeting a bonafide Rockstar… and they were, and ARE.  Top of the hill… dominating the radio, MTV had just taken off so they were one of the first to get THAT massive exposure… they were young, rich, ROCKSTARS… and had every opportunity to not be nice, to some snot nosed kid.

But Bruce Hall was about as nice, open and patient as they come… I remember walking away from meeting him thinking, “Ok… you hear all the horror stories about when people become famous… but this guy?  THIS is how you are… how you behave, how you conduct yourself…”

And I never forgot it…

It was only 1 or 2 more year when I got my first chance to make a first impression and I’d been schooled well… with Bruce and then the boys in Chicago… very nice to people…

So we go on our merry way, we have our years on the radio, tv… and then suddenly it’s 29 years later, (for me), 39 years later for Bruce and a few more for Kevin Cronin all the way up to Neil Doughty who told me REO Speedwagon formed the same year as Chicago!  1967!  WOW, coming up on 50 years!

As this road narrows… and there aren’t too many around left to play, the combinations that are presented are sometimes very interesting and sometimes just plain make pure sense.

REO Speedwagon is from the Champaign, IL region, played all the Chicago clubs coming up like the band Chicago did… they were formed the same year, so in many ways it was a natural to come together… and we did… to much success… this summer was a pure hit.  Packed houses and VERY IMPORTANTLY, we all really got along amazingly well.

chicago_reo_speedwagon_finale_live_klipsch_music_center_indianapolis_2014-17-1166x656

Kevin and I noted toward the end of this run that there is usually 1 guy who isn’t quite thrilled about the packages but we haven’t found one yet on this tour!

I hope we book this tour again and I don’t see why we wont… like I said, it was one of the most successful runs we’ve done with a co-headline.

Soooooo… a few more little points of interest for this post…

Several of the guys in REO are golfers starting with Bruce Hall so we immediately jumped on that!  We eventually got out a couple of times to play and had the time of our lives…

Here are a few of my favorite pictures…



Golf Pictures From The Road

IMG_5695This next picture is a great one where I caught Kevin fist pumping after Bruce made a VERY IMPORTANT PUTT!

IMG_5731This next one is one of my favs of my favorite time of the day… late afternoon… I love playing golf at this time because the courses are usually pretty empty and it’s got that “After School” feel to it.

The young man in the left side of the picture is a great young artist named Tim Stop.  Tim is not only a GREAT singer/songwriter but also a very decent golfer AND he was part of the trio of Tim, Ty and myself in the gym pounding on each other with P90X sessions!

IMG_5741So there you have it… a brief trip through watching from the sidelines, REO rise to the top of the world… being so close to it… and then eventually getting my own shot…

A big thanks goes out to all the great people who came to see this show… this is a great moment in time… Classic Rock… while we’re still here!

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