Gary Dean Richrath (born October 18, 1949 in Peoria, Illinois) is an American guitarist, best known as a member of the band REO Speedwagon from 1970 until 1989.
Richrath provided much of the creative and driving force in the early days of the band, writing much of the material for REO Speedwagon's first twelve albums. In 1977, he and other members of the band took over their own production, which resulted in the band's first platinum album. Richrath wrote many of the band's songs including "Golden Country" from 1972, "Ridin' the Storm Out" (1973), "Only the Strong Survive" (1979) and "Take It On the Run" from 1981.
In addition, Richrath sang several REO Speedwagon songs including "Find My Fortune" (1973) 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".
On November 22, 2013, REO and Styx announced a benefit concert titled "Rock to the Rescue" to raise money for the affected families of the tornado in central Illinois. The concert was held on December 4, 2013 in Bloomington, Illinois. Gary Richrath reunited with REO for a performance of "Ridin' the Storm Out" to end REO's set at the sold-out concert. Gary stayed on stage to help with the encore of "With a Little Help From My Friends" along with REO, Styx, Richard Marx, and others. Gary is originally from the town of East Peoria which was damaged during the storm. Families affected by the storm and first-responders sat near the stage for this special concert and REO reunion.
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