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Archive - Sep 13, 2015

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Gary Richrath, Guitarist of REO Speedwagon, dies 65

Gary Dean Richrath (October 18, 1949 - September 13, 2015) was an American guitarist, best known as the lead guitarist and a songwriter for the band REO Speedwagon from 1970 until 1989.

Richrath wrote many of the REO's songs including "Golden Country" from 1972, Ridin' the Storm Out (1973), "Son of a Poor Man" (1973), "Flying Turkey Trot" (1976), "Only the Strong Survive" (1979) and "Take It On the Run" from 1981. In 1977, he and other members of the band took over production, which resulted in the band's first platinum album.

Richrath sang several REO Speedwagon songs including "Find My Fortune" (1973), "Wild as the Western Wind" (1974) and "(Only A) Summer Love" (1976). He left REO Speedwagon in 1989, and released a solo album titled Only the Strong Survive in 1992 under the name "Richrath."

Gary Richrath died on September 13, 2015.  Cause of death is unknown. He was 65.

REO Speedwagon - Ridin' the Storm Out (1981).  Gary Richrath on lead guitar.