Roll With the Changes

reoThrough those years, I still had an occasional hankering for some Kevin Cronin and Gary Richrath.

 

 

  

Growing up, I had an uncle who was in many ways a man who never fully grew up. In retrospect, this can be fleshed out by also stating he was extremely immature, lazy, and utterly irresponsible. I suppose that was why I liked him so much. Aside from supplying me with gallons of Pepsi and every Truly Tasteless joke book in existence, he also introduced me to REO Speedwagon. I must have heard Hi Infidelity and Wheels Are Turnin' a million times when I hung out with my cousin. They were the first band that I really loved.

As fate would have it, about five years later, my best friend from childhood got into skateboarding and punk rock. Virtually overnight, Rod Stewart, Genesis, Billy Joel, and REO were out the screen door and in came Dead Kennedys, Dead Milkmen, and D.O.A. Yet through those years, I still had an occasional hankering for some Kevin Cronin and Gary Richrath. So I'd dig out my old tapes and sing along with "Roll With the Changes" or "Ridin' the Storm Out."

Did I ever tell anybody that I still liked REO? Shit, no. However, when enough time went by, I got over my punk/indie-rock self and ceased giving a crap what my more stylish contemporaries thought. So despite the fact that even Foreigner fans make fun of me, if the topic of Champaign, Ill.'s favorite sons gets brought up, I will be quick to dig and even quicker to defend. Okay, I admit it. REO is indefensible. | David Lichius

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