His death yesterday reminded of my own mortality as he is just a few years older than me. And although I have not been active with this blog, this sad news prompted me to attempt to reactivate “Reading Between the Grooves” for the second time this year.
I first heard Richrath’s licks during the fall of 1973 – Greg Rector placed his stereo speakers out the open window of his dorm room at Kentucky Christian College and I heard REO’s “Ridin’ the Storm Out” as it blared across campus. Penned by Richrath, “Ridin’ the Storm Out” is notable for the Moog synthesizer used on the cut, but you’ll also hear some of the greatest guitar work this side of Peoria.
While I featured “Ridin’ the Storm Out” in 2010 with several other REO classics, it was the studio version featuring Michael Murphy. The song was released as a single in 1973, but failed to chart. In 1977, a live version featuring Kevin Cronin was released as a single from “Live: You Get What You Play For.” While the tune charted, its peak at #94 wasn’t spectacular; however, Gary’s guitar work was; if you excuse the pun, its electrifying on this live version.
Gary – we’ll miss you – Keep “Ridin’ the Storm Out.”