Another year has come to an end. While 2015 was full of life in so many vivid ways — creatively, intensely, and tragically — it also presented its own set of challenges and obstacles to overcome in the new year. And as a year also brings, we also lost many shining figures in the music world, among other fields.
Here’s a look of some of those figures who touched our lives and will continue to do so always as we remember some of the key people in music, people who are legends, pioneers, luminaries, inspirations, and above all, timeless.
Gary Richrath, best known as the lead guitarist for the classic rock band REO Speedwagon, died on Sunday. He was 65.
The news was announced by REO frontman Kevin Cronin on the band’s Facebook page. No cause of death has been revealed at this time.
REO Speedwagon formed in 1967 with Richrath joining in 1970, the year prior to the release of the band’s self-titled debut album. Hailing from East Peoria, IL, the guitarist would continue with the group through 1989, penning many tracks throughout his career with them, such as rock classics “Ridin’ the Storm Out” and “Take It on the Run,” the latter of which made it into the top 5 on the music charts. He also appeared on REO’s 1980 breakout commercial album Hi Infidelity, which included the chart-topping rock ballad “Keep On Loving You,” and 1984’s Wheels Are Turnin’, which contained another power ballad hit, “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”
Rock of Ages Directed by Adam Shankman
Starring Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Ã…kerman, Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin
Warner Bros. Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 123 Minutes
Release Date: June 15, 2012
“Ain’t lookin’ for nothin’ but a good time, and it don’t get better than this.” – Poison
Disclaimer: I am a 27-year-old man with an affinity for musical theatre and ’80s glam rock. I am not ashamed to admit I have shed a tear or two during Glee or the occasional off-Broadway production of Rent. Musicals aren’t for everyone, but for all the Drama Nerds, Band Geeks, and Glee Kids out there, this one’s for you.
From director Adam Shankman (Hairspray) comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. The year is 1987. Movies like Fatal Attraction, Moonstruck, and Beverly Hills Cop II blow up the box office while MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e, Def Leppard, and Bon Jovi play to sold-out stadiums across the country. In this alternate reality of 1987, however, rock god Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) is responsible for every ’80’s anthem and power ballad – an amalgam of every legendary front man in rock’n’roll history.
Rock of Ages features Julianne Hough (Footloose, Burlesque) as Sherrie Christian, a small-town girl who leaves Tulsa, Oklahoma to follow her Hollywood dreams. There she meets rock’n’roller Drew Boley (Diego Boneta), a bartender at The Bourbon Room, one of Sunset Strip’s hottest concert venues.