Join us as we take Kevin Cronin to check off one of his bucket list items! Airs Saturday mornings at 8:30a ET/PT and 7:30a CT on Lifetime.
Legendary rockers Chicago and REO Speedwagon will be playing Gexa Energy Pavilion on Sunday August 31st and we've got your free tickets to this epic show.
Just head on over to the KOOL FM Facebook page, "LIKE" the picture of the concert tickets then "SHARE"it with your friends and you'll be entered to win a pair of these tickets. We've got a ton of tickets, so that means we'll have lots of winners.
If you haven't liked our Facebook page, then you really should do that first. That way you can get in on all the KOOL contests we have.
We'll announce our many winners on February 21st.
Read More: Win Tickets to See Chicago and REO Speedwagon in Dallas
Neal Doughty gets the blame for REO Speedwagon. While at the University of Illinois, he joined a band with his co-founder, drummer Alan Gratzer that needed a name. "One day we decided to advertise in the campus paper to see if anyone would hire us," says Doughty, "So we needed a name fast. The very next day I walked into an engineering class and saw 'REO Speedwagon' written on the board in giant letters. It was a milestone in the history of transportation: a high-speed, heavy-duty truck. I told the guys that night and they all loved it. It was the only name we ever considered."
As it turned out, people wanted to hear REO and they were hired to perform on-campus, as entertainment for the party...and a food fight!. Neal recalls, "It was a frat house that had invited a sorority over for a dinner. We walked in and saw heavy paper covering all the walls. We kinda thought something was up, but it was too late. The evening ended with mashed potatoes everywhere. Alan spent the next whole day cleaning them off the drums. But we made forty dollars." From those humble beginnings, REO Speedwagon eventually became a household name, yet massive success eluded them for over a decade.
REO has recently released Live at the Moondance Jam, which features all of the band’s biggest hits recorded at America's premier classic rock festival, The Moondance Jam in Walker, Minnesota. In the interview that follows, Doughty speaks openly about the Moondance Magic, as well as the bands past, present and future.
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MUNCIE - He can't fight this feeling. Kevin Cronin loves his job.
You can hear it in his voice as he talks about traveling the country, meeting new people and, of course, rocking out. Cronin, you see, is the frontman for REO Speedwagon, a band that has been doing that rock thing since the 1970s.
REO will rock Emens Auditorium on Feb. 7.
The band and its hits like "Keep On Loving You,","Can't Fight This Feeling," "Roll with the Changes" and "Take It On the Run" is still packing them in. And it's not just fans who have been there since Day 1.
"It's great seeing young people who are discovering our music, whether it's listening to their parents music in the car or finding classic rock stations, or hearing it on a TV show," he said. "Somehow these songs have just kind of infected the fabric of our country. When I think about it, it's really quite humbling. I couldn't be luckier."
Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon has sold 22 million albums in the U.S., 40 million around the globe.
Cronin, admittedly, has a soft spot for audiences in the Midwest, where the band got its start.
"It does feel good when we come back to places like Muncie that we've been playing since the very beginning," he said. "It's in our own backyard. We've come a long way, but at the same time, we are still so connected to those days."
The Muncie show will benefit Rock To The Rescue, which recently raised more than $400,000 to benefit victims of the Midwest tornadoes and storms.
At these shows, a portion of proceeds will benefit the charity; plus, the band will hold memorabilia and instrument raffles or auctions, and donations will be accepted.
Cronin said that since the band played Live Aid in 1985, charitable efforts have always been a big focus of the band. The band recently helped raise $400,000 for charities in the area of Bloomington, Ill., after a recent tornado.
"There is so much power in music," he said. "It raises money and people's spirits."
He added that the band's power comes, ultimately, from the fans.
"Any power that our music has is a result of the support that we got from the people in small towns of the heartland," he said. "These people gave us this power. It only makes sense to use this power they have given us to come back and support them when they need it."
Cronin said fans of the band should expect to hear all of the hits during the Emens concert. That's what the people come to hear, after all, he said. And he said he honestly still enjoys playing every one of them.
The band has been "messing around with new music"lately, even trying them out during sound checks before concerts.
"Maybe we will break one out during the show," he said, adding that smaller shows like the one at Emens gives the band a chance to "stretch out a little."
One thing is certain, he said. "It will be a good time."