Wednesday, August 24, 2005


(This 10 Q's was conducted back in October 2003 for the Newswire and I thought I'd dig it out after the review of the band's 'Essential' collection below)

One of my favourate bands and a top notch guitarist, who also
appeared on the classic Mastedon albums (well worth a listen if you
enjoy melodic hard rock) and Richie Sambora's solo albums amongst
Full details at
Thanks to Ken McGee for transcribing Dave Amato's replies!

1. What are you currently up to? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)

Buying guitars! That is one of my favorite activities. Lately I've
been leaning toward Beatle replica instruments and reissues.
Recently I have aquiered a second Hofner Beatle Bass, a George
Harrison style Gretch Duo Jet, a John Lennon Epiphone "Revolution"
Casino, and a Rickenbacker 325 12string like John Lennon had. I've
probably purchased another 10 guitars in the last six months. That
brings the collection to about 60 guitars.

For my birthday this past year, the band and management bought for me
a Martin Eric Clapton model acoustic guitar. It is amaizing! I also
bought the Eric Clapton model Fender Stratocaster.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and low point(s) of your career to

Highlight of my career has to be that I have been with REO Speedwagon
for 14 years now, and we are still going strong.

Low Point was in 2000 when the whole band got sick while touring. We
all had the flu. Close quarters on the tour bus probably contributed
to the outbreak. We were playing several shows a week with our
buddies, Styx when the tour had to be cut short by 3 shows because we
were just too sick to go one. After a break we were all well and
ready to go again, but that really brought us to our knees. We hated
to cancel anything, and we made up the shows on the next swing.

3. What was it like appearing along with Styx & Journey each night on
the Classic Rock Main Event tour? Any chance of a similar tour next

There is nothing better than playing to packed arena crowds night
after night. Three great bands like REO, Styx and Journey on one
bill pretty well insured that. Styx and REO have been touring
together for 3 years now and we are all great friends. Journey and I
go back many years, when I was in bands with Tane Cain (Johnathan
Cain's wife) and Muggs Cain, (Johnathan's brother).

Our management is working on the package for next year. I haven't
heard what it might be.

4. Will REO Speedwagon ever make it over to Europe ever again?

Maybe. REO hasn't been overseas in the last 14 years. Finding the
right package would be a challenge. There isn't anything like that in
the works.

5. Do you prefer the studio or the live environment? Any plans for a
solo album in the future?

I like both! Playing live I feed off of the electricity of the
audience There isn't anything better! I also like the creative
process of working in the studio.

As far as a solo album, my drummer buddy Ron Wikso and I have an
offer from an independent European record label to do recording, but
there just hasn't been time for that project.

I do work on side projects when REO is on break. I worked with
Richie Sambora on his solo album, and more recently with Gregg Rollie
on his "Roots" cd. Both are excellent recordings. Check out my own
website for details on my career.

6. What was the initial fans reaction when you took over from long-
time REO guitarist Gary Richrath?

It was tough at first, but I have felt right at home with REO for a
long time now.

7. Mastedon… They released two classic albums. You appeared on only
the first one? Do you know if there will ever be a another Mastedon
album at all?

I did two Mastadon albums. That was a long time ago, I don't think
there will be any more.

8. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your
main influences on your career to date?

It seems like I have always been in the music business. I started
playing guitar in 1961. I've just always loved the guitar. Elvis
Presley was an early influence, but once the Beatles came out… that
was it. I was nuts about the Beatles, and still am. Other influences
through the years have been Jimi Hendrix, Richie Blackmore, Jeff
Beck, Jimmy Page, and Clapton too.

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

My wife, Trish and I have quite a few pet cats. We care for them,
and also help strays when we can. We help them with a visit to the
vet to heal broken legs, cuts and scrapes, disease etc. We also spay
or neuter these cats to help control the pet population.

I enjoy playing golf too, when I'm not shopping for guitars.

10. Message to your fans...

Thanks for your support for REO, especially for sticking with us
through the changes in 1989. Keep coming out to see the shows, and
Keep Pushin'.


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