REO Speedwagon was a big influence on me growing up. Before I learned to sing, I can remember learning all their guitar solos note by note.
The band’s name actually came from the founder of Oldsmobile whose name was Ransom Eli Olds. He also owned the The REO Motor Truck Company, which made a model in 1915 called the Speedwagon which was a forerunner to the pickup truck.
Frontman Kevin Cronin was actually offered a job as an MTV VJ before the network went on the air, but he turned it down since there was no way to stay in the band at the same time.
The band started back in 1967 but didn’t see commercial success until the 80s. Their 1980 album High Infidelity contained four US Top 40 hits and is their best-selling album, with over 10 million copies sold. The album was #1 for six weeks in America in the summer of 1981.
Many of their hits were inspired by the ups and downs of the band members’ relationships including the album title Hi Infidelity which was a reference to what was going on amongst the band.
The band has gone on to sell more than 40 million records and has had 13 Top 40 hits. They continue to be a hugely popular live act.
Today I’ll be reacting to a performance of their hit “Roll With The Changes”. Let me know what you thought of the video!
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Watch this 30 second before and after video of a student who took the course for only one year:
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