Iconic rockers REO Speedwagon discuss writing their chart-topping hit “Keep On Loving You” and their rise to fame in the next all-new installment of AXS TV’s original hit series “The Big Interview with Dan Rather.” The episode airs Tuesday, May 14 at 8 p.m./5 p.m. PT.
In a sneak peek video clip, front man Kevin Cronin talks about writing the breakout song, which came to him in the middle of the night. He tells Rather, “That was kind of a difficult song. I literally woke up in the middle of the night and I heard that little piano intro in my head …”
Cronin goes on to explain “it was a lonely afternoon for me at the piano … it just sounded like some sappy piano song.” When Richrath plugged his guitar into some amps and produced that big sound, Cronin instantly knew that was the power that the band’s breakout power ballad needed.
Watch the full preview clip above.
In another clip (attached below), the band talks about making Hi Infidelity, which contained “Keep On Loving You” and many more hits, including “Take It on the Run.” The 1980 record ended up launching REO Speedwagon’s meteoric rise to fame.
Founding member and keyboardist Neal Doughty said it was his favorite album from the day they finished it. He added, “I think it was a little bit like a Beatles album. The songs weren’t very long. There was almost no space in between the songs. It just kept going in a beautiful flow.”
Overall, Doughty knew they were on to something with the album.
Cronin agreed and explained he knew the band made it, when people were lined up around a Baton Rouge arena to buy extra tickets for the show. They went from selling around 3,000 tickets a show to selling 12,000 tickets “seemingly overnight.”
To date, REO Speedwagon has sold over 40 million records, with their breakout ninth album Hi Fidelity and the next two albums, Good Trouble (1982) and Wheels Are Turnin’ (1984) being their most popular. From those albums, the band enjoyed a stream of hit singles including “Keep the Fire Burnin,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” and “One Lonely Night.”
Band members Kevin Cronin, Neal Doughty, Bruce Hall, Dave Amato, and Bryan Hitt all sit down with Rather to discuss their shared music journey.
Now in its seventh season, “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” is one of AXS TV’s critically-acclaimed original interview series. Award-winning newsman engages both his guests and viewing audience with his captivating and casual interview style.
REO Speedwagon is one of a huge lineup of legendary season seven guests. Previous guests include Steve Perry, KISS front man Paul Stanley, and ‘80s pop rocker Cyndi Lauper. Upcoming music guests include Travis Tritt (June 4), Boz Scaggs (June 11), and Paul Shaffer (June 14).
Watch REO Speedwagon on “The Big Interview” on Tuesday, May 14 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, only on AXS TV. Find AXS TV on your TV and stay tuned to AXS for programming news and updates.