metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk


  KEVIN CRONIN: IN CONVERSATION ABOUT REO SPEEDWAGON

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus



reo speedwagon

'Live At Moondance Jam' is just what it says on the tin! It's a live affair that was recorded during their appearance at the annual Moondance Jam festival which takes place in Minnesota, USA.

Started way back in 1992 and providing entertainment and a good show to a few hundred people made up of friends and families, this live extravaganza now welcomes audiences in the region of tens of thousands at a time and it continues to grow.

Recognised these days as a classic rock festival, Moondance Jam seemed ideal as the backdrop for this recording of REO Speedwagon's most recent live album.

Article continues below...



The band are also renowned and respected for their sterling output of Melodic Rock classics coated in hook-laden appeal and sentiment since their debut album 'R.E.O. Speedwagon' back in 1971. Two notable classic tracks that withstand time and space are familiar nuggets 'Keep On Loving You' and 'Can't Fight This Feeling'. These songs alone have propelled the band to a very high status within the world of Rock music, but are simply the icing on the cake.

Before Christmas I was really privileged to get an audience with the main songwriter and lead vocalist Kevin Cronin, who spoke to me from across the Atlantic about this recent live album and to tackle some other questions. We didn't have long in which to deal with two sheets of research and queries that I had collated during the build up to our conversation, but I was able to gather plenty from the experience which I'm pleased to share with you here.

Knowing that REO Speedwagon had released a few live albums in the past, including a pivotal release in 1977 called 'Live: You Get What You Play For', I wanted to tackle Kevin about his attitude and his thoughts on live albums in principle.

reo speedwagon

"Well I mean for me, our live album 'You Get What You Play For' basically saved the band. We had recorded I think, six albums prior to that and you know they had a little bit of success. You know 'R.E.O.T.W.O.' did pretty well in the Mid-West and it kept us in a place where we could play decent gigs, but we were still staying three or four guys in a hotel room, travelling around in an old 1972 Chevrolet station wagon."

Kevin was smiling as he told me the romanticised imagery of touring on a small time scale. Struggling as they went from one location to the next, cramped and uncomfortable half the time but still having fun.

"When the live album came out, it was really Gary Richrath's (guitarist) idea because we felt like no one had really captured the essence of the band."

As Kevin went through those moments from the past, it also triggered another thought. "Coincidentally, Peter Frampton had just released his live album and it did so well, and Gary saw that and said wait a minute; if Peter Frampton can have hits from his live album with songs that were basically older songs, a light bulb went off in Gary's head; that's exactly what REO Speedwagon needs! We really have Peter Frampton's success to thank for the record company allowing us to make a double live album."

Kevin rounded out this tale of rags to riches by explaining that they received their first gold record in London for the sales relating to this 1977 live album.

"We were on top of the world. We were in England and all of us were still affected by the British invasion of music; The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, you know, The Hollies and the list goes on and on." With an enthusiasm to his voice he then finishes up his answer. "Live records mean the world to us; there are no tricks. You just go out on stage and you play it. What you see is what you get."

Noting the inclusion of the track 'In Your Letter' on the 'Live At Moondance Jam' which is a rare appearance, I wanted to know why.

reo speedwagon

"When we played that Moondance Jam show we were celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 'Hi-Infidelity' record."

The penny dropped as he explained further. Their 1980 studio album was the mightily successful 'Hi-Infidelity' which contained three very strong tracks heralded as fan favourites and staples in their live sets. The aforementioned hit song 'Keep On Loving You' plus 'Don't Let Him Go' and 'Take It On The Run'.

"On some shows we were playing pretty much the whole 'Hi-Infidelity' album. In Moondance we didn't have quite that much time to play because there's a lot of bands in the show. We included more music from the 'Hi-Infidelity' record than normal that year in our set-list."

As an afterthought, Kevin adds: "To us, we look at that song as a kind of novelty song, but in some parts of the world that's our most famous song. In Central America, in Puerto Rico they love that song. In Japan they go crazy for that song so you never can tell how a song is going to affect some people."

In 1987, REO Speedwagon released their 12th studio album 'Life As We Know It' and on that album there was a hit song called 'In My Dreams'. During my research I stumbled across how Kevin was amusingly frustrated with the arrangement regarding playing it in the live environment.

"You know what, we have been trying to find an arrangement for that song literally for the last twenty years. It sounds stupid, in retrospect I never really, I don't really enjoy the way we produced the song on the original version, because the song was really written as an acoustic, almost as a Crosby, Stills & Nash song."

He admitted that he finds the song difficult to sing, but does approach it live when he does a solo acoustic set. But thus far, as a band arrangement for REO Speedwagon it remains elusive. Although saying that, Kevin did remark on how he had been discussing with Bryan Hill (the drummer) about tackling a new possible arrangement, so watch this space.

"That's one of the coolest things about the fact our band is still out playing big shows and touring at a high level after all these years, is the fact that I know all of these songs so well, and a song like 'Time For Me To Fly' I can picture exactly where I was, exactly the moment. I know these songs so intimately, they're like my children."

This is an observation that he shares when I ask about the stories behind some specific songs from their repertoire.

reo speedwagon

"It really came about because I travelled from Chicago, my hometown, out to Colorado and I'd never seen mountains before."

Kevin lets out an embarrassed chuckle as he recollects the first moments when 'Time For Me To Fly' came to him.

"I was about 18-years-old and I was visiting a friend of mine who was one of the four guys in my high school who let their hair grow a little bit and started playing guitar. So I got there and I was sitting on the porch, I remember it like it was yesterday, and looking from his porch up at The Flatirons, which is this rock formation right above Boulder. This beautiful formation you see when you're looking at the mountains in Boulder, Colorado."

His flow of memories take us on a journey where he refers to Richie Havens, and how initially the chords and sounds he was strumming on the guitar that day sounded awful at first. Naturally they didn't end up sounding awful as 'Time For Me To Fly' ended up surfacing on their 1978 studio album 'You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can't Tuna Fish'.

During my research, I noticed how the Country and Western icon Dolly Parton had covered the song and when I mentioned it to Kevin, he said he was thrilled that she had taken his song and performed it differently. On the negative side of the experience, Kevin didn't seem too pleased with her lack of feedback or acknowledgement when he sent her some flowers.

"The next time Dolly played in Los Angeles I sent her two dozen or like three dozen roses. I just wanted this gigantic bouquet of roses to be delivered to her dressing room and I never heard from her! Not a thank you or anything."

There you have it; the thoughts and words from a songwriter who has penned some impressive songs that have impacted on various individuals around the globe. Their latest studio album is titled 'Find Your Own Way Home' and was unleashed on us back in 2007. Even with my dodgy aptitude with mathematics, I can tell that they released it a long time ago.

"As far as a new studio record, man I would love to, I'm itching a little bit to record some new songs. I was actually writing the other day and I felt really inspired. In fact we're going to sound-check today, and I'm going to show the guys one of the songs I'm working on."

Despite this obvious eagerness to push forward, Kevin couldn't commit to setting out a timeline for any new material or releases, but there is something happening. Watch this space.




5.1.14











 

hammerfall EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: HAMMERFALL UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'BUILT TO LAST' TITLE TRACK
Hammerfall are currently on tour throughout Europe and there are plenty of dates left to catch their new epic show...

grim reaper GRIM REAPER'S STEVE GRIMMETT SEVERELY ILL IN ECUADOR
"Unfortunately the operation didn't work and Steve is currently in the operating theatre having limbs removed..."

bill price GUNS N' ROSES AND SEX PISTOLS PRODUCER/ENGINEER BILL PRICE HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY
Price worked with Rod Stewart, INXS, Pete Townshend, Elton John, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Big Audio Dynamite...

fish marillion FISH CELEBRATES 30th ANNIVERSARY OF 'CLUTCHING AT STRAWS' WITH UK TOUR
"These are the only dates this year as because of my shoulder operation next month with the extensive recovery period..."

ross the boss UK EXCLUSIVE: ROSS THE BOSS ANNOUNCES TOUR DATES AHEAD OF SPECIAL GUEST SLOT ON MetalTalk RADIO THIS WEEK
"We are going to devastate every audience, every night, without mercy..."

dokken WAS BREAKING NEWS: CLASSIC DOKKEN LINE-UP CONFIRMED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN
Dokken, Lynch, Pilson and Brown will play together in England for the first time in around a quarter-of-a-century...

grand magus DEF LEPPARD AND POISON ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICAN DATES
"I could not be more excited. I know all of us will give one thousand percent on stage..."

grand magus VIKINGS TO INVADE YORKSHIRE: GRAND MAGUS TO HEADLINE KEIGHLEY FESTIVAL
"Get your tickets now and prepare to raise your fists and bang your heads for the glory of Metal!"

armored saint ARMORED SAINT UK TOUR DATES AND 'MARCH OF THE SAINT (LIVE)' VIDEO ARE HERE
"We're really looking forward to playing these select UK shows in March..."

screaming eagles SCREAMING EAGLES TO FEATURE IN NEW AMAZON PRIME SERIES STARRING BRYAN CRANSTON
The band will be releasing a live mini-album in spring 2017 and will be touring in the UK, France and Germany throughout the year...

martyrd MARTYRD SET TO OPEN FOR METAL ALLEGIANCE, MARTY FRIEDMAN AND GUS G
"NAMM is a blast, total musical sensory overload from every direction. It’s like getting lost in a hurricane - I can't wait."

john garcia EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: JOHN GARCIA UNLEASHES 'GIVE ME 250ml'
"This record is one of the most important of my career, difficult and challenging to do, but worth every minute of sweat!"

avenged sevenfold WAS BREAKING NEWS: AVENGED SEVENFOLD TO OPEN LONDON POP-UP STORE
The shop will be hosting in-store raffles and giveaways of exclusive and signed merchandise...

avenged sevenfold ROCK MEETS CLASSIC 2017 EUROPE LINE-UP IS HERE
Rock meets Classic has a terrific vibe and the legendary cross-over-project combines emotional classic with world-famous rock songs...

paddy goes to holyhead PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ARE BACK FOR THE CRAIC ON ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
The band supposedly played their last ever gig two years ago in celebration of their 30th anniversary...

nightlord EXCLUSIVE THE UNKNOWN BAND WHO INFLUENCED METALLICA AIRS ON MetalTalk RADIO
Also featuring is the very first UK radio airplay of Cellar Darling, the band created by former Eluveitie members...

epica EPICA RELEASE 'BEYOND THE MATRIX' VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
"The energy that lives within 'Beyond The Matrix' is extremely contagious. It will sweep you off your feet when the melodies enter your mind..."

nightlord JOHN COGHLAN'S QUO BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN
John Coghlan's Quo have announced UK dates across the Kingdom that will see them busy throughout the year...

jimmy bain JIMMY BAIN'S WIDOW NEEDS OUR HELP
"Jimmy recently passed away without a proper will in place and now his better half is in trouble..."

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST 'LIVE' TOKYO FEATURING BARDEN, BONNET AND McAULEY OUT IN MARCH
Features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker...

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE OVERDOSED WHEN SHARON HAD CANCER
"I watched him scoop his hands into a bowl of pills, swallow a handful of something, and then wash it down with vodka..."

eluveitie ELUVEITIE NEW LINE-UP IS COMPLETE, FIRST GIGS GO DOWN A STORM
"Above all we're super happy and thankful that we're complete again and given the chance to have such gifted musicians on board..."

gene simmons GENE SIMMONS RESTAURANT HONOURS US VETS
"The opening day of every Rock & Brews is dedicated to our vets, the public is not allowed in."

deep purple DEEP PURPLE SUE THEIR LONG-TIME ACCOUNTANT FOR FOUR MILLION
"I'm completely irresponsible. I'm ignorant about money as a commodity — I have never really understood it."

tony iommi UK EXCLUSIVE: VINCE NEIL FIST FIGHT WITH BOY GEORGE STOPPED AS ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER SHUTS UP PRESIDENT TRUMP
"They screwed up. That was a huge miss and someone should have a talking-to."

tony iommi GLENN HUGHES: "I'M THRILLED TO BE TOURING THE UK IN JANUARY"
"Let's get 2017 going with a killer night for ROCK lovers, movers and shakers. I'm in. Let's go!"

tony iommi TONY IOMMI HAS SUCCESSFUL THROAT OPERATION AND IS CANCER-FREE
"We had to have it checked in case it may have been cancerous. But it turns out it wasn't, which I found out Christmas Day..."

ronnie montrose RONNIE MONTROSE REMEMBERED: ALL-STAR MEMORIAL CONCERT TO TAKE PLACE AT NAMM 2017
"Ronnie helped light a fire in me and made me want to approach guitar playing with that kind of zeal and expression..."

motorhead beer PHIL CAMPBELL AND MIKKEY DEE TO APPEAR AT MOTÖRHEAD BEER LAUNCH IN LONDON
This is sure to be one superb night with beer, live music and Motörhead, but not necessarily in that order...

tony iommi BLACK STAR RIDERS PREMIERE 'TESTIFY OR SAY GOODBYE'
Black Star Riders are set to release their forthcoming album 'Heavy Fire' on 3rd February via Nuclear Blast...

tony iommi BREAKING NEWS: TONY IOMMI DROPS HEAVY METAL AND JOINS THE CHOIR
"It's a bit different to Sabbath!" says Tony, in probably the biggest understatement of all time...

tony iommi ROCK MUSIC IN SUPERHERO MOVIES
It's pretty wild to think that this whole ride that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with a little AC/DC...

jimi hendrix JIMI HENDRIX'S WAH-WAH PEDAL AND AMP SURVIVES AUCTION HOUSE BURGLARY
"It was a very positive and uplifting experience to work for Jimi. He was like a shaman, a medicine man, a preacher.."

alestorm ALESTORM ENTER FLORIDA STUDIO BUT A CHALLENGE AWAITS THEM BACK IN BLIGHTY
"It is full of epic songs about pirates, drinking, and pseudoscientific cryptogeography..."

queen QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY WANTS TO BRING ROCK TO A NEW GENERATION
"It was actually all very planned and deliberate and came totally out of Freddie's fevered imagination..."

phil lynott MASS TRIBUTES PAID TO PHIL LYNOTT ON ANNIVERSARY OF HIS PASSING
"God bless my old friend, thanks for the faith you showed in allowing me to record your music..."

black country communion BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION ENTER STUDIO TO BEGIN WORK ON FOURTH ALBUM
"One thing I want to make clear to everybody across air nation is that Joe Bonamassa and I never fell out..."

hair metal heaven BLAZE BAYLEY BRAND NEW ALBUM AND WORLD TOUR DETAILS ARE HERE
'Endure And Survive' is set for release on 3rd March 2017 and will be accompanied by a world tour totalling some 120 shows...

hair metal heaven HAIR METAL HEAVEN FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST ACTS FOR INAUGURAL EVENT
The Hair Metal Heaven Festival has a very eighties feel to it, as the team behind it explain here...

motorhead EXCLUSIVE TEST PILOT DROPS TWO GRAND ON NEW MOTÖRHEAD VIDEO SLOT
"A few spins later and I turned up a row of gold Snaggletooths which promptly caught fire and the voice of the man himself commanded: 'Turn it up!'"

deep purple DEEP PURPLE RELEASE NEW 'inFinite' TRAILERS AND EXPECTED ALBUM FORMATS
'Time For Bedlam', the first single which was revealed late last year, is available as instant grat as part of the digital album pre-order...

hollywood AEROSMITH FAREWELL TOUR COULD LAST FIVE YEARS
"We had a talk a few weeks back about going into the studio. When that'll happen, though, I'm not sure. We certainly have plenty of ideas..."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE MEGADETH MAINMAN DAVE MUSTAINE REVEALS HE'S AN ARSENAL FC SUPPORTER
Megadeth, formed in Los Angeles in 1983 after Dave left Metallica, are currently enjoying a rich vein of form...

hollywood FORMER PEARL JAM DRUMMER HITS OUT AT THE BAND
"We need music, each other and the spirit of Rock & Roll now, more than ever before..."

hollywood HOLLYWOOD SIGN CHANGED BY PRANKSTERS TO READ 'HOLLYWEED'
"An artist's role throughout history has been to create representations of the culture he exists in..."

metallica METALLICA GUITARIST KIRK HAMMETT'S HOME FOR SALE FOR £16m
Apparently a house like this doubles its asking price every six or seven years...

kiss EXCLUSIVE KISS' GENE SIMMONS DROPS BIGGEST HINT YET THAT ACE FREHLEY REUNION IS ON
Over 7,000 likes later, fans are in big speculation that it really is going to happen...

rick parfitt WAS BREAKING NEWS: BLOODSTOCK UNVEIL SECOND 2017 HEADLINER
"Megadeth had a blast last time and I can't wait to bring the Dystopia World Tour to Bloodstock this Summer."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE JOHN COGHLAN REVEALS TWO NEW TRACKS WITH RICK PARFITT ARE NEARLY READY FOR RELEASE
"It was going to be Status Quo PLC [Parfitt, Lancaster, Coghlan] and that was Francis' idea originally."

wizz wizzard WIZZ WIZZARD VOCALIST WIZZ BEAUPREZ HAS PASSED AWAY
Wizz Wizzard were signed to Rock Sector Records and labelmate Chris Appleton of Absolva led the tributes...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO TO TOUR IN 2017
"It was very emotional. I didn't think that I was gonna cry, but I did. I broke down...."

metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery