Complete List Of REO Speedwagon Band Members

REO Speedwagon Band Members

Feature Photo: Brandon Nagy / Shutterstock.com

Complete List Of REO Speedwagon Band Members and lineup changes presents a look at the musicians of a band that formed in 1967 in Champaign, Illinois.REO Speedwagon started as a college bar band featuring Neal Doughty, Alan Gratzer, Joe Matt, Mike Blair, and Bill Fiorio (also known as Duke Tumatoe). Initially, they focused on covers but soon began incorporating original compositions. With various lineup changes, the band started to refine its sound, moving from the blues-rock orientation of its early years to a more radio-friendly rock sound.

By 1971, they had landed a record deal with Epic Records and released their self-titled debut, REO Speedwagon. Despite not making a significant commercial impact, it set the stage for a string of albums throughout the 1970s, including R.E.O./T.W.O., Ridin’ the Storm Out, and You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can’t Tuna Fish. During this period, the band experienced significant lineup changes, most notably with Gary Richrath replacing Steve Scorfina as the lead guitarist and Kevin Cronin taking over the lead vocals from Terry Luttrell.

The 1980s brought the band’s breakthrough. The 1980 album Hi Infidelity was a massive commercial success, featuring hits like “Keep On Loving You” and “Take It On the Run.” The album spent 15 weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart and sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone. This was followed by Good Trouble in 1982 and Wheels Are Turnin’ in 1984, which included another hit single, “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”

Gary Richrath left the band in 1989, replaced by Dave Amato. Despite the change, REO Speedwagon continued to record and tour, releasing albums like Life as We Know It, The Earth, a Small Man, His Dog and a Chicken, and Find Your Own Way Home. While these albums didn’t replicate the commercial success of their ’80s output, they kept the band in the public eye.

The 2000s saw REO Speedwagon tapping into nostalgia, touring with other classic rock acts and releasing compilations and live albums. They also returned to the studio for Find Your Own Way Home in 2007 and participated in collaborative efforts like “Find Your Own Way Home: The Game,” an interactive puzzle-adventure video game featuring the band’s music.

Drummer Alan Gratzer retired from the band in 1988 but returned for a few special performances, most notably a benefit concert in 2013. Neal Doughty, the only remaining founding member, continues to perform with the band alongside long-standing members like Kevin Cronin and Bruce Hall. Current members also include Dave Amato on lead guitar and Bryan Hitt on drums.

Neal Doughty

Neal Doughty is the keyboardist and a founding member of REO Speedwagon, which was formed in 1967. He is the only member to have played on every one of the band’s albums, a discography that includes the platinum-selling albums Hi Infidelity, Good Trouble, and Wheels Are Turnin’. Doughty’s keyboard work has been a consistent part of REO Speedwagon’s sound, providing texture and color to hits like “Keep On Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” Outside of REO Speedwagon, Neal Doughty has mostly kept a low profile, focusing on his work with the band.

Kevin Cronin

Kevin Cronin joined REO Speedwagon in 1972 but left after one album, R.E.O./T.W.O., before returning in 1976. His second stint with the band proved more fruitful, and he became the band’s principal songwriter and lead vocalist. He is the voice behind hits like “Time for Me to Fly,” “Keep On Loving You,” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” His contributions have been significant in shaping the band’s sound and commercial success, particularly on their most successful album, Hi Infidelity, which went platinum multiple times. Kevin has occasionally acted in TV shows and participated in various charity works but has mainly focused on his career with REO Speedwagon.

Bruce Hall

Bruce Hall joined REO Speedwagon in 1977 as the bass guitarist, replacing Gregg Philbin. He has been with the band ever since and has contributed to albums like You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can’t Tuna Fish, Hi Infidelity, and Find Your Own Way Home. Bruce’s bass lines are an integral part of the band’s sound, offering a steady foundation upon which the other instruments build. While he is primarily known for his work with REO Speedwagon, Bruce Hall has occasionally performed with other musicians but has not pursued any significant projects outside the band.

Dave Amato

Dave Amato joined REO Speedwagon in 1989 as the lead guitarist. Before joining, he had already built an impressive resume, including stints with Ted Nugent and Cher. With REO Speedwagon, he has contributed to albums like Building the Bridge and Find Your Own Way Home. Dave’s guitar work has helped to keep the band’s sound fresh and energetic, and he has been a consistent member of their touring lineup. Outside of REO Speedwagon, Dave Amato has remained an in-demand session musician and has even designed his own line of guitars.

Bryan Hitt

Bryan Hitt became REO Speedwagon’s drummer in 1990, bringing with him a wealth of experience from playing with bands like Wang Chung and The Spencer Davis Group. He has been a fixture in the band’s lineup since then, playing on albums such as Building the Bridge and Find Your Own Way Home. His drumming has been a stabilizing force in the band’s rhythm section, contributing to their live performances as well as their studio recordings. Bryan has also done session work and contributed to various other musical projects but has been most visibly associated with REO Speedwagon in recent years.

Alan Gratzer

Alan Gratzer was one of the founding members of REO Speedwagon, serving as the band’s drummer from its inception in 1967 until his departure in 1988. He played on seminal albums like Hi Infidelity, Wheels Are Turnin’, and You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can’t Tuna Fish. Gratzer’s drumming style helped define the band’s sound during its most commercially successful period. Although he retired from full-time touring and recording with the band, he has made occasional guest appearances during REO Speedwagon’s live shows.

Joe Matt

Joe Matt was one of the original guitarists for REO Speedwagon, joining the band at its formation in 1967. He was a part of the band’s debut album, REO Speedwagon, released in 1971. His tenure was short-lived, however, as he left shortly after the first album, but his early contributions helped establish the foundational sound of the band.

Mike Blair

Mike Blair was the original bassist for REO Speedwagon when the band was formed in 1967. Like Joe Matt, he played on the band’s self-titled debut album, REO Speedwagon. His time with the band was limited to its early years, and he was replaced by Gregg Philbin.

Bill Fiorio (Duke Tumatoe)

Bill Fiorio, also known as Duke Tumatoe, was an early member of REO Speedwagon, contributing guitar work. His stint with the band was brief, and he soon moved on to pursue other projects, most notably forming the blues band Duke Tumatoe & The All Star Frogs.

Terry Luttrell

Terry Luttrell was the original lead vocalist for REO Speedwagon, joining in 1968 and contributing to the band’s 1971 self-titled debut album, REO Speedwagon. Luttrell left the band shortly after the release of this album and was replaced by Kevin Cronin. After REO Speedwagon, Luttrell joined the band Starcastle.

Bob Crownover

Bob Crownover was another early guitarist for REO Speedwagon. He contributed to the band’s first album, REO Speedwagon, but like many of the original members, his time with the band was relatively short.

Gregg Philbin

Gregg Philbin was the bassist for REO Speedwagon from 1970 to 1977. He played on several albums, including R.E.O./T.W.O. and Ridin’ the Storm Out. Philbin was a part of the band during its early years of struggle and moderate success. He was replaced by Bruce Hall in 1977.

Joe McCabe

Joe McCabe was a saxophonist who joined REO Speedwagon for a brief period during the late 1960s. While not a key figure in the band’s history, his contributions add a layer to the band’s early experimentation with their sound.

Marty Shepard

Marty Shepard played trumpet for REO Speedwagon in their early days, when the band was still forming its musical identity. Though not a long-term member, his contributions can be heard on the early albums that had a more varied instrumentation than the streamlined rock sound REO Speedwagon would later adopt.

Steve Scorfina

Steve Scorfina was one of the early guitarists for REO Speedwagon, joining in 1968. He played on the band’s first album, REO Speedwagon, and contributed to shaping the band’s early musical style. Scorfina left the band in the early 1970s and later became a member of Pavlov’s Dog.

Gary Richrath

Gary Richrath joined REO Speedwagon in 1970 and significantly impacted the band’s sound with his lead guitar work. He contributed to many of the band’s early and most successful albums including Hi Infidelity, Wheels Are Turnin’, and You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can’t Tuna Fish. Richrath was a primary songwriter during his tenure and penned some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Take It On the Run.” He left the band in 1989 and pursued a solo career.

Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy was the lead vocalist for REO Speedwagon between 1973 and 1976. He replaced Kevin Cronin and sang on albums like Lost in a Dream and This Time We Mean It. Though Murphy’s time with the band was short, he left an imprint on REO Speedwagon’s sound during a period of transition before Cronin returned.

Greg X. Volz

Greg X. Volz was a backup vocalist for REO Speedwagon and contributed to the album Find Your Own Way Home released in 2007. Though his contributions were limited, his vocal talents augmented the band’s sound on this particular release.

Graham Lear

Graham Lear served as the touring drummer for REO Speedwagon for a short period during the late 1980s, filling in during Alan Gratzer’s gradual withdrawal from the band. Lear had previously played with the band Santana and brought a seasoned approach to the band’s rhythm section.

Carla Day

Carla Day contributed backing vocals to REO Speedwagon’s projects but was not a formal member of the band. Her vocal contributions can be heard on Find Your Own Way Home.

Melanie Jackson-Cracchiolo

Melanie Jackson-Cracchiolo served as a backup singer for REO Speedwagon for a brief period. Her work added depth to the band’s live performances and studio recordings during her tenure.

Miles Joseph

Miles Joseph was a touring guitarist for REO Speedwagon during the 1990s. While he did not participate in the band’s studio recordings, he contributed to the band’s live performances during his time.

Jesse Harms

Jesse Harms played keyboards for REO Speedwagon from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. He contributed to albums like Life as We Know It and The Earth, a Small Man, His Dog and a Chicken. Harms brought a different texture to the band’s sound with his keyboard work during his period with the band.

Complete List Of REO Speedwagon Band Members article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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