Kevin Cronin, Gary, Steven Tyler discussed on John Landecker


A player on 7 20 w G. N and we're talking to Kevin Cronin of R E O Speedwagon. Kev. Early on, the band didn't get much respect until you started touring with Aerosmith in the 19 seventies, There was a new level of respect, and it taught you how to give that respect to other bands. For years to come. Oh, absolutely, You know, we we were the the, uh, the that the Midwest that we were the perfect opening act for the Midwest. But we were really pretty popular, you know, and in the Heartland and so when, when National touring acts would come through the Midwest, they pick up area and we would be the special guests on the tour. And but we were pretty popular, and so some of these bands would see that we were going over really well, and they would basically sabotaged. They messed with the sound, you know, turn the lights off at us and stuff and and it was kind of a drag, honestly, but um, but then we then we toured with Aerosmith and I'll never forget the first. The first show, Perry walked in the dressing room introduced himself. They you know they they welcomed us into to have the after show meal with them and party with them and do the whole thing, And their thing was a member, Steven Tyler told me that their thing was they wanted us to be as good as possible for the sake of the audience, but it also fired them up. That you know that we would put the bar at a certain level and they were so good that they weren't threatened by anybody. But it would inspire them to even play better and remember thinking Well, yeah, that's the right. It makes sense. Absolutely. We always you know, we always take the Aerosmith throughout rather than you know, not to mention any names of the band who sabotaged us. But and I won't. But there were plenty of them. So all of a sudden you have six albums under your belt. You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish released in 1978, which you know received so much FM radio airplay. Two million copies, ultimately achieving double platinum status. Was that the album that you finally said why you guys are really on your way? Well, we stopped pretty. We felt pretty confident with the songs that we had written for that album. And and, uh, so many of the albums that we made before that we kind of felt like the record company would assign us a producer. But producer never really kind of got what we did. And so the records would come out not sounding like us and and we would. It was really frustrating for a number of years. And so that album we went in. And you know, Gary and I went into this meeting with the bigwigs at epic records, and we like We're like, you know, we demanded that either we're going to produce this record, or we're not going to go in the studio. You know, we're thought we were big shots, right? And then, to our surprise, they were like, okay. And we looked at each other and we were like Did that just happen? What do we do? We? You know, we're just a couple of rock musicians. Uh, sure Enough, we kind of figured it out. And, uh, so, yeah, you can tune a piano, which get tuna fish was the first record that we We all kind of went alright? Yeah, this kind of kind of sounds like us, you know, so it was And you know, we had rolled the changes to fly. We had some. We had some pretty strong material. So it kind of worked. Oh, I remember slow dancing in time for me to fly at my seventh grade dance in 1979. It was a big night for me, Kevin. Big Night. Really? All right. Well, good. Happy idea, You know, um are you know you broke into the mainstream again with with hi Infidelity sold more than nine million copies. Keep on loving you. Take it on the run. Don't let him go. There was a transformation of the band a bit too, a little bit more popular. Music rather than harder. Rock was this was the band just evolving at the time, or was this more of a conscious effort to head in that direction? No, We never had any conscious effort in the in the history of our band, and everything that we've done is pretty much been some sort of a happy accident, and, uh, And the high Fidelity record was no exception. I literally I'll never forget that I kind of woke up in the middle of the night and and wrote, Keep on loving you and Uh, you know, if you if you really pay attention to the to the lyrics, lyrics versus of that song. It's It's not a not a real happy song. No, and no people play it like at weddings and stuff, And I'm thinking to myself sometimes. Are you really listening? They were prompt themes. You listen to the lyrics to the B section that hurts first, but, uh, yeah. I mean, you know, but when I played that, for for the guys, it was like You know, I know that that's not an R E O Speedwagon selling and finally rich red plug in and you know a Les Paul. You're a Marshall Stack and turn got this nasty sound. And I think that his intention was basically to drown me out in the rehearsal hall. But I was like, dude, that's it exactly what this song needed and So you know, that's kind of where that the you know, we kind of stumbled into something. Which is what we are. That's all we ever do. We just kind of stumble our way through. And some, you know, people kind of go. Yeah, we dig that. Or,.

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