Former REO Speedwagon Bassist Gregg Philbin Has Passed Away

Former REO Speedwagon Bassist Gregg Philbin Has Passed Away | Society Of Rock Videos

via The Uncharted Zone / Youtube

The former REO Speedwagon member, Gregg Philbin, has passed away.

Philbin was the bassist who played on the REO Speedwagon’s first six studio albums and appeared on 1977’s Live: You Get What You Play For. REO Speedwagon’s lead vocalist, Kevin Cronin, has paid tribute to his former bandmate in a statement shared by the band. Cronin wrote:

“No one should underestimate the Philbin Factor in the evolution of REO Speedwagon.

“When Gregg left the band in 1977, he took with him the prog-leaning extended instrumental section aspect of the REO sound. Gregg approached the bass guitar much like legendary Who bassist John Entwistle.”

He continued:

“They both played the bass as more of a lead instrument. But as the songs Gary Richrath and I were writing became more compact, and needing the bass to play a more traditional role of locking with the drums, Gregg’s style became an issue, and he would leave the band.”

Philbin’s tenure in REO Speedwagon predated Cronin’s and despite their musical conflicts, Cronin praised Philbin’s personality and sent his sympathies to the bassist’s family and closest friends. Cronin stated:

“All that said, Gregg was a smart, funny, charming guy, and you would be hard-pressed to find a more savvy individual.

“His health had been an issue for some time, and today his soul is freed. We all loved Gregg, mourn his death and send our condolences to his surviving family members and friends. Today is a sad day in REO World.”

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