REO Speedwagon

Tag: Rock

American rock band REO Speedwagon has been around since the late 60's and has had numerous greatest hits like "Keep On Loving You," "Time for Me to Fly," "Take It on the Run," and many, many more. Bruce Hall is the bass guitarist, lead and harmony vocals, and has been with REO Speedwagon since 1977.

I had the chance to talk with Bruce about their upcoming "United We Rock" tour with Styx and Don Felder. He says, "Us and our buddies in Styx and Don Felder, We're ready to go tear it up! Basically, it's always fun to play. I love that part. The traveling part gets you down a little bit. But playing, that's the free part, I love that. The boys in Styx, that's our pals. I love the boys in Styx. And Don, he's fast becoming one of our good friends too. We played on a cruise and Don was one of the bands that played on there, so we got to meet him and hang out with him a little bit. And Dave, our guitar player, sat in with him on Hotel California, it was great. So, I think probably everybody is going to know every single song that's played that night. I gotta feeling."

For being together for over 30 plus years, I asked Bruce what keeps the band together and he responded, "We obviously love each other, I mean, we are like a group of brothers. We don't bicker over little things. We have a lot of fun, but sometimes we have different ideas about the same subject. But it always seems to work itself out." Bruce tells me that there is several songs that he likes to perform, one of those songs is, "Time For Me to Fly" and "Back On the Road Again." He said, "Hell, I seem to like them all, I get to scream and yell and have a good old time at the mic! They're all fun and we're doing one new song this year that nobody's ever heard. It's called ‘Whipping Boy,’ which I hope people won’t get up and go to the bathroom during that song. It's a rocker, and hopefully, we can hold their attention. Yeah, that's the only new thing we're really doing. We worked on "That Ain't Love," it's a little bit of a different arrangement. And we do our ballads that people seem to like, like "Keep on Loving You," "Can't Fight This Feeling," and people love "Take It On the Run." You gotta do those songs because that's kind of why folks buy their tickets, to get to hear those songs."

I asked Bruce about who are some of his biggest musical influences and he said, "It was the British invasion, I was 13 and just hit puberty when the Beatles came out and the girls were screaming for the Beatles and to let your hair grow out. Every kid I knew on my block, the Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan show, we all started growing our hair out and went and started bands. It was fun. I've been doing this for a long time and Paul McCartney was my original favorite bass player. He's still one of my favorites. I've got a lot of favorites. Lee Sklar, he plays with James Taylor, he plays nice stuff. There's a lot of guys who play a lot of stuff, they can play every pippity pop and they can do all kinds of stuff, but it doesn't always fit the song. I think there's a lot of guys that like to show off on bass. And on bass, you can show off if the band gives you a little moment. You gotta treat the song as a song, you can't just be doodling all over it. Anyway, that's the way I look at it, I like to play bass and I like melody bass parts. And so that's what I look for when I do my thing."

Bruce still writes all the time and says, "It's therapeutic, there's something about writing songs, if you've got something on your mind that you just want to clear, figure out what it is, you want to put it into or at least make sense out of it or something. What's amazing is that these things feel like they're so personal to everyone, to songwriters. I learned this from Kevin, because he's a great songwriter. We all share the same experience, just not always at the same time. We all go through ups and downs, everybody pretty much has the same life experiences, love and heartbreak, and just pushing on. And people need to hear that from time to time, and I'm not as good of a cheerleader as he is. He's very good at that stuff, but for me, I write a lot of them that REO doesn't play. They're more like blues songs."

Don't miss REO Speedwagon, Styx and Don Felder on July 18th at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater. It will definitely be a show that you don't want to miss especially if your a fan of the 80's. This will for sure bring back some great memories!

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