Friday, October 24, 2008

REO Speedwagon

October 24, 2008

Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by my Big Brother. Big Brother went to lots of concerts. And Big Brother always left me home blubbering and wailing. On a few occasions, however, he brought me home a t-shirt. REO Speedwagon was one of those.

Each time I prepare for the Flashback of that Friday, I thoughtfully listen to the music of the chosen artist. Music is my muse so I listen for clues and whatnot. Sometimes the time allotted exceeds my collection of the chosen artist and I listen over and over.

Not this time.

I typed REO Speedwagon into the search bar of itunes and let her rip. About half way through the first song, it had to stop. "What is this crap!?"

I will not hear each song 2 or 3 times as usual. I will not hear each song once. Why did I think I liked REO Speedwagon? Is it because, as a child, I looked up to my stylish Older Bro? And so everything he listened to was pure gold to me? Was it because all early 80s music was crap in disguise? Was it because I was only ten...?

The Older Bro had a thing for REO Speedwagon. He'd listen to that High Infidelity album over and over. He'd report his favorite line several times a day by saying, "You can tune a piano, but you can't tune a fish!" He fancied, treasured, and glorified REO Speedwagon. In fact I'm pretty sure he'd switch teams if one of them asked him to.

Sure of it.

Because I still like the Older Bro (in spite of the bb-gun in my bum incident of 1977), I've decided to recount the pathetic career of REO Speedwagon.

REO Speedwagon began at the University of Illinois in 1967. The lineup would eventually include Dave Arnato, Kevin Cronin, Neal Doughty, Bruce Hall, and Bryan Hitt. Kevin Cronin was the creature behind the elusively enunciated vocals and Neal Doughty was the man with the talent. He played the piano.

REO had chart-topping success in the early 80s that would last only a few years. In 1989 the band realized they were ugly and chicks only dug them because of their "with the current hot band" status. Being as they were no longer the hot band (hallelujah bring on the New Wave!), the band members went their separate ways.

In 2000, REO tried some wacky revival thing with Styx. Now there's a show that makes a root canal sound appealing....

Just because I share everything, even the crap, here you go: I Can't Stop This Feeling - Take It On The Run - Keep On Loving You - Here With Me - and the only two I like Time For Me To Fly - Don't Let Him Go


tom lindsey said...

I am happy to report that my wife went to an REO Speedwagon concert and left after just a few songs.
I am sad to report that she left because she thought the bad was too hard. Or maybe it was because they were to loud-- I forget which.

Just further evidence that any dealings with this bad end in embarrassment.

dutchdevo said...

We all have fads, Old bro. talkin' that are funny to look back on. But once REO hit bubble gum status "High Infidelity"(Early to mid '80s) I lost them. Age is slowly taking hold for "Nine lives" & "REO live you get what you play for" was the vinyl's of choice. They were a good live band.
"Time for me to fly" had girl ties need I say more)
Missing tracks "Ridin' the storm out" (live), "Back on the road again" should be on the sample list