Release Year: 
Reports are streaming in that former REO Speedwagon guitarist GARY RICHRATH has died overnight. 
Condolences have been posted online by his solo band mates - including singer TOMMY EDWARDS and his drummer TIM FIERS, who confirmed the passing, having spoken to Gary's wife earlier today.
RIP Gary - as always, the world is a better place for your contributions to it and the music world suffers a great loss at your passing.
Kevin Cronin has now posted on behalf or REO:
Hi friends, kc here. My longtime friend and collaborator Gary Richrath passed away earlier today. I feel so sad. Gary was both a unique guitarist and songwriter, and the embodiment of the tough guy with a heart of gold. I learned most of what I know about being in a rock band from Gary Richrath. The entire REO Family mourns his death and shares in the grief of his family, friends, and fans. These words do not come close to expressing the depth of emotions I am feeling at this time...kc

PS. This photo has been on my music room table for as long as I can remember, and will stay there.

REO Speedwagon's photo.



R.I.P 'Visionary' Drum Stick Makes VIC FIRTH

Release Year: 
From the VIC FIRTH Facebook Page: "To our dear friends around the world: We are heartbroken to share the news with you that Vic has passed away. Vic was an inspiration to all of us. He was a visionary, a mentor, a leader and a friend. He always said he surrounded himself with the best people, but the truth is he brought out the best in all of us. His boundless passion for music and musicians drove every decision he made. Vic’s spirit and legacy will continue to live at the core of the Vic Firth Company. He will be missed beyond words."
In the news: 

R.I.P Alan Fryer (of Aussie Rockers Heaven)

Release Year: 
Sad news overnight with the death from cancer of pioneering Aussie rock frontman ALAN FRYER.
Alan famously auditioned for AC/DC at one stage, but went on to have mainstream success with his band HEAVEN, who never got the credit they deserved despite several full length major label releases.
Alan was also a great guy to deal with, as I have many occasions to talk to him over the years.
Heaven are responsible for what I consider the BEST cover of Knocking On Heaven's Door ever, so in tribute to Alan, here it is. may he rest in peace. You can read many friend and fan messages at:



R.I.P. Blues Legend BB KING

Release Year: 
R.I.P. blues legend BB King. Pioneer, true legend and music icon.
This from the BBC:
The 'King of the Blues' guitarist and singer, BB King, has died aged 89, his lawyer says.
King, known for his hits Lucille, Sweet Black Angel and Rock Me Baby, died in his sleep in Las Vegas.
Born in Mississippi, King began performing in the 1940s. He went on to influence a generation of musicians, working with Eric Clapton and U2.
Once ranked as the third greatest guitarist of all time, he had been suffering ill health in recent months.
He was recently taken to hospital with a diabetes-related illness.
A former farmhand, King was awarded his 15th Grammy award in 2009 for his album One Kind Favor.
He was also inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Rolling Stone magazine placed him behind only Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Until recently, King performed in at least 100 concerts a year.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Another day, another tragic loss for the music world. Free's bass player/songwriter ANDY FRASER has died at the age of just 62. 
In the years between, that song became the gift-that-keeps-on-giving (All Right Now), generating millions of dollars for its authors. It was a No. 1 hit in over 20 countries and was recognized by ASCAP in 1990 for over 1 million radio plays in the U.S. alone. By Oct. of 2006, it passed the 3 million mark in plays in the U.K.
In 2005, the musician put out an extremely personal solo album, “Naked and Finally Free.” He came out as a gay man in an interview I conducted with him for the national gay and lesbian magazine The Advocate that year.
In more recent years, politics became more important to Fraser. He wrote a song to support the election of Barack Obama and donated proceeds from various songs to progressive and humanitarian causes. He also mentored young artists, like the guitar prodigy Tobi Earnshaw, producing albums for him and playing in his band.
At the time of his death, Fraser had talked about going on tour with Frankie Miller, another classic singer in the ‘60s British blues-rock mold.
The musician is survived by two daughters, Hannah and Jasmine Fraser.
For fans, Fraser will be remembered as a key player in rock’s golden age, a star who could use any instrument to create melodies and rhythms you couldn’t get out of your head. 
And a nice read on the background of writing All Right Now

MIKE PORCARO RIP - A MelodicRock Tribute

Monday, March 16, 2015
Mike Porcaro has left us. May he rest in peace.
As the music world collectively sighs a deep sigh for the loss of another legend, there is only one thing to do.
I’m currently cranking Kingdom Of Desire – one of my favourite Toto albums ever, but fittingly the last album to feature the rhythm section of Mike and Jeff Porcaro. They are united finally once again.
Every person hopes to leave this world with some kind of footprint that says we were here. The print Mike left was nothing short of astounding.
It is with great amazement I reflect that every single person reading this will own an album with Mike Porcaro on it. Most likely several. Dozens even for some! Just check his credits! (
I met Mike just the once – Sydney 2006 as Toto embarked on their long anticipated Australian tour. Mike was such a humble, laid back, likeable guy. All the Toto guys are first class, humble people, but Mike was far more reserved.  He just let his instrument do the talking. And talk it did…
Mike was forced to retire from playing the following year. ALS forged its way through his body, but never his spirit.
It took everything from him and took him from his band and his family. But not before Mike Porcaro left us with a musical legacy that will live on for decades to come.
To Mike’s family and friends, to Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, David Hungate and the whole Toto family, I send my condolences and my love. I know this was expected, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
So long Mike.

R.I.P. MATS OLAUSSON (Yngwie, Kamelot, John Norum)

Saturday, February 21, 2015
Influential Swedish keyboardist Mats Olausson has died. 
"A 54-year-old Swedish man was found dead inside a hotel room in downtown Rayong on Thursday afternoon, police said. The body of the tourist was found on the floor, with his chin resting on the bed in his room at a Rayong hotel in tambon Tha Pradu, said Pol Lt Thawat Norseeha, a deputy officer at Muang police station. The tourist wore only shorts and there were seven empty bottles of whisky and several empty cans of beer in the room. Police found no traces of a struggle. He was believed to have died at least 24 hours earlier."
R.I.P Mats - your sizeable contributions to the music world will never be forgotten.
Thoughts and prayers go to his family and his many many Swedish fans, friend and musicians.

JEFF GOLUB (Rod Stewart, Billy Squier) Dies At Age 59

Monday, January 5, 2015
JEFF GOLUB (Rod Stewart, Billy Squier) Dies At Age 59 - R.I.P.
"Contemporary jazz, blues and rock guitarist Jeff Golub, who played alongside Rod Stewart and Billy Squier, died on Thursday, according to JazzTimes. He was 59. 
Though the precise cause of death has not been confirmed, Golub had been battling a rare brain disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy that caused him to inexplicably lose his eyesight in 2011. 
Over his career, Golub released 12 solo albums and three more as the leader of the instrumental band, Avenue Blue. He played alongside Stewart from 1988-1995, on four albums and five world tours. 
Golub was born in 1955 in Copely, Ohio, and started playing guitar at an early age. He studied at the Berklee College of Music and joined singer James Montgomery's band while in Boston. He began working with Squier after moving to New York in 1980, and in 1988 released his first solo album, Unspoken Words, for Gaia Records. 
He continued to play as a session musician for many pop and jazz artists, including Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams, Peter Wolf and Bill Evans, releasing a number of his own albums over the years. 
Golub made the news in 2012, following his loss of eyesight, when he fell off a New York City subway platform onto the tracks ahead of an oncoming train, escaping narrowly with only minor injuries. The name of his final release, 2013's Train Keeps a Rolling, was inspired by that event. 
A tribute concert for Golub featuring a number of his friends and collaborators will take place Jan. 21 at B.B. King's Blues Club in Manhattan, helping to raise funds on behalf of Golub and his family. Tickets are available here."

JOE COCKER R.I.P. Another Legend Departs

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Singer Joe Cocker dies aged 70 after cancer battle
Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of The Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends, has died aged 70.
The Sheffield-born singer had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong.
His agent Barrie Marshall said Cocker, who died after battling lung cancer, was "simply unique".
Sir Paul McCartney said he was a lovely guy who "brought so much to the world".
Cocker's friend Rick Wakeman, keyboard player for the rock band Yes, called his rendition of With a Little Help From My Friends "sensational" and said: "He had a voice that was just unique."
Wakeman told BBC Radio 2: "The great thing is with someone like Joe is what they leave behind, and that will be with us for years and years."

JON STER - R.I.P (Lillian Axe, Brand New Machine)

Monday, December 1, 2014
Sad news this weekend with the passing of JON STER, former Lillian Axe and current Brand New Machine guitarist. 
Brand New Machine commnet: "With a heavy heart and a lot of tears we say goodbye to our friend, our brother and co-founder of Brand New Machine, Jon Ster. He was the wittiest, tender hearted and one of the most talented guys I have ever met. His laugh was infectious and he would light up a room just by walking in. The world was a much better place with Jon in it and he left us a legacy of great music, a beautiful daughter and tons of amazing memories. I’m going to miss you and your famous one liners my friend. Thank you for being a part of my life. Rest well, I love you brother. -Brantly."
Lillian Axe comment: "Today is a sad day. Former Lillian Axe guitarist Jon Ster passed away this morning. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. Jon you will be missed. Rest in peace our brother."
R.I.P Jon.



JIMI JAMISON Autopsy Results Published

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I wish this wasn't the case, but the autopsy results are in for Jimi Jamison, and it's not pleasant reading. I'm still adjusting to him being gone, this is such a tragedy.
An autopsy report shows that Jimi Jamison, the lead singer on Survivor hits such as "Burning Heart" and "Is This Love," died of a stroke with methamphetamine intoxication.The report released Tuesday (Nov. 11) by the Shelby County medical examiner says the 63-year-old Jamison died Sept. 1 at a home in Memphis.
The autopsy says Jamison had cardiovascular disease and narrowing of the arteries. It had been believed that Jamison died of a heart attack.
The report says he died of a hemorrhagic brain stroke, with "acute methamphetamine intoxication contributing."
Jamison joined Survivor in 1984, after it had already become known for "Eye of the Tiger," the theme song to the Sylvester Stallone film "Rocky III." Jamison replaced vocalist Dave Bickler.
Jamison, who also was a member of Target and Cobra, also co-wrote and sang "I'm Always Here," the theme to Baywatch.

Tributes And Acclaim Continue For JACK BRUCE (RIP)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
As all should be aware, the great bassist and Cream founding member JACK BRUCE died from liver disease at age 71 on October 25.
Many tributes have been paid to the musician/vocalist, the best of which are linked below:
  • Eric Clapton pays tribute to Jack Bruce:

    Eric Clapton has hailed Jack Bruce a ''great inspiration''.

    The Cream legend passed away on Saturday (25.10.14) at his home in Suffolk, East Anglia, and his former bandmate has paid tribute to his friend's talent.

    Eric wrote on his Facebook page: ''He was a great musician and composer, and a tremendous inspiration to me.''

    The guitarist's website also shared a lengthy history of the bassist's musical career.

    And Cream's drummer Ginger Baker described Jack, 71, as a ''fine man''.

    He said via his fan club: ''I am very sad to learn of the loss of a fine man, Jack Bruce... My thoughts & wishes are with his family at this difficult time.''

    Jack occasionally performed with Ringo Starr's All-Star Band and the Beatles drummer has sent his condolences to the musician's family.

    He tweeted: ''We lost Jack Bruce today an incredible musician writer and a good friend peace and love to all his family.''

    As well as his former bandmates, other renowned bassists have publicly paid tribute to Jack on twitter.

    Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath wrote: ''So sad to hear of Jack Bruce passing. My biggest influence and favourite bass player. Thank you, Jack. RIP (sic)''

    Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea said: ''Oh man. Jack Bruce. Too much. Wow. Holy holy. I love that guy. One of a kind greatness. End of an era.(sic)''



JIMI JAMISON Dies At The Age of 63

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Jimi Jamison has died from a heart attack at the age of just 63. I'm beyond words at this point. I've lost a great friend and the world has lost an iconic singer and human.
Jimi is one of my favourite singers of all time who also happened to be one of the nicest guys ever. The time we spent together at MRF1, 2 & 3 will be tresured.
Tributes contnue to flow for the great man and the fact he is on the mids of so many people is testament to how well he was reguarded.
Some other great folks add their feelings:
Jim Peterik: "I've feel like I've just been punched in the heart. I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a massive talent and world beating singer. Shine on Jimi. Love Jim Peterik"
Joe Vana (Mecca): "I just talked to him last week...he sounded good...tired, but good...he always was....always working and loved his fans....was the real of my 3 mentors in Survivor....I hope and pray my other 2 can come together and do something special in his name....he looked up to those guys so much...and to hear all the fun stories of his long career makes me cry...this is a hole that will not be ever filled....he was everything he seemed to be...passionate, honest, loyal and talented beyond belief...the Mecca family has lost Fergie and now Jimi the past few months....and the world has lost an immense person....Jimi, give Fergie a hug for you...Jo Jo...."

Kip Winger: "R.I.P Jimi Jamison. A brilliant singer and a beautiful soul. We'll miss you Jimi. God Speed."

Jack Blades: "I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jimi. He not only had a beautiful voice, but a beautiful spirit as well. I will miss his smiling face and his friendship. Shine on Jimi."

Brian Howe: "Still struggling to get over the news of Jimi Jamison. We will never share a stage again...........sad."

Howie Simon: "Very sorry to hear about the passing of Jimi Jamison. Just saw him perform recently and he sounded as amazing as ever. Condolences to all his friends, family , and fans. It's a big loss..."

Vic Rivera (Adriagale): "I'm stunned that my friend Jimi Jamison apparently passed way yesterday from a heart attack. He was a great person and a one-of-a kind singer. Debby and I are shocked and saddened beyond words. Rest in peace, Jimi. You will be sorely missed."

Mike Reno: "Hello friends: It is with a heavy heart that I announce my good friend and fellow rocker Jimi Jamison has passed away at the young age of 63. This one is especially hard for me as he was a brother to me and I loved him dearly. I am in shock right now as I'm sure many who knew Jimi are. We will miss his huge heart and beautiful smile, not to mention his awesome voice and great song writing talent. I'm gonna miss you buddy. We are all gonna miss you......Mike"

Kevin Chalfant: "Dear Jimi, Getting to know you as a personal friend truly enriched my life. Your advice in so many situations all comes flooding back to my mind now. I am so glad you called me last week or I would feel like I didn't have a chance to say goodbye. You still found it humorous to prank on me one last time by saying that you lost a great paying because I never called you back or answered my text messages when everyone knows it was you that never replied, but I played along because that brought you such joy to watch me squirm : ) I will miss your teasing and joking around more than anything, but the world will truly remember you for your gigantic talent and enormous voice. But you were a friend with a caring soul. God grant you peace my friend."

Bobby Kimball: "When I heard that Jimi had passed away, it totally broke my heart. I feel so bad now that I know he is gone. Frontiers Records sent me an e-mail 2 months ago, and they asked me if Jimi and I could do another "Kimball/Jamison" Duet CD. I really wanted to. I feel so bad that I've just lost one of my very best friends, and he was such a great singer, also fun to work with. We also lost Fergie Frederiksen not long ago, and he was one of my very good friends as well. This is all very sad for me, because I loved these two guys, and I have done a lot of concerts with both of them."
Frontiers Records: "To say we are deeply saddened by the passing of Jimi Jamison would be a tremendous understatement. We had the pleasure of working with Jimi on a few releases including, "Empires" (1999), "Reach" (a Survivor album) (2006), "Crossroads Moment" (2008), "Kimball/Jamison" (with former Toto singer Bobby Kimball) (2011) and "Never Too Late" (2012). He was an incredible talent and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jimi, his family and his friends and fans."

Survivor: "The entire Survivor family is very shocked and saddened by the passing of our brother Jimi Jamison. Our thoughts, love and prayers go out to his family and friends."

Frankie Sullivan: "There is no way to explain the loss of my brother “Jamo.” Over the years we developed a deep friendship. My heart is heavy with sadness as I struggle to express the pain, suffering and deep loss. Though I rest assured that Jim is in the best of places, it still provides little comfort for those of us left behind. His voice was magic and he had a loving heart. I called him “Golden Throat” and for good reason. Jim Jamison had a voice we will never forget. It was massive and huge and yet sweet and gentle. He was a loving soul and a brother to me in many ways. I will miss him greatly."
Toby Hitchcock: "I'm so upset. A great friend of mine Jimi Jamison has passed. What an incredible singer...but more than that, an INCREDIBLE person. I'm honored to have met you and honored to have shared the stage with you. I love ya man!! ‪#‎RIP‬ bro. Life is so short. Never take life for granted. It's so short."
Jeff Scott Soto: "It is with a heavy heart we share the news of the loss of another colleague, friend and incredible singer Jimi Jamison who passed away yesterday from an apparent heart attack at the age of 63. Jimi was a good friend to most of us in the band, RIP good sir, heaven has another great tenor!"
James Christian: "Today I am truly heart broken, A dear friend of Robin and Mine, Jimi Jamison has passed on. There are no words to describe what a gentle soul he was, not to mention an incredible singer. Robin and I will miss him dearly, 63 years is not enough for anyone, he had so much more to share. Jimi, tonight we pray for you and wish for you eternal peace. We Love You"
Dave Bickler: "I'm in total shock. I can't believe I lost my dear friend Jimi. Our hearts go out to his family. He will be missed."



My Tribute To JIMI JAMISON (R.I.P.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


August 23, 1951 - August 31, 2014

I'm really getting tired of this. Another legend has left us. But even more so, another great human being has gone. Another one of the good guys. Why is it always the good guys?
I can barely gather the strength to write as I soak up a soundtrack of songs that have shaped my life.
Jimi Jamison was one of several singers that I grew up worshipping. His music, the songs he sang on, from his solo work to the emotion changed anthems and ballads of the mighty Survivor.
I grew up listening to Survivor. Thankfully I never grew out of that. There is rarely a week where some form of Jimi's vocals don't bless my ears.
In most cases the lyrics and music was written by others, but in every case, it was that emotional, powerful, dominating force that was Jimi's voice that made those songs come to life.
It's the singer, not the song...
I cannot live without music. At the various times of difficulty in my life I turn to the music I need to hear to make it better. Jimi Jamison was a major part of that. I know I'm not alone in that sentiment.
As I have stated before, I am in a privileged position to be able to talk to many of the artists that I grew up and continue to listen to, admire and yes…worship.
There is an unspeakable joy when that legend you admire also turns out to be a heck of a nice guy. Jimi was one of those. Beyond the call of duty always.
I can't even begin to count the number of favors he has done for me and this site over the years.
He was always first in line to contribute to the CDs I put together. He didn't hesitate at the idea to put together the tracks that didn't make his awesome album with Jim Peterik onto what would become the very first MelodicRock Records release.
Jimi signed off on using the song "As Is" for the last MRCD only weeks ago.
Jimi was one of the first guys I called when it was first decided to do a MelodicRockFest event. He and Jim Peterik were among the special guests at MRF1. He was amazing of course.
So he got a call for MRF2. And MRF3 with Mecca. I couldn't do an event without calling him and he was lined up to appear at MRF4 this year before Survivor duties pulled him elsewhere.
But I got to spend a lot of time with him over the course of those 3 events and you know what? He didn't take one cent for doing any of them. He didn't want a fee. He just wanted to be part of the event and help support the site. "Just tell me where and when" he used to say.
I can't thank him enough for his generosity, his time and his spirit that he brought to the stage.
The very first event I did in 2007, I was riding with Jim Peterik to South Bend to do some pre-show publicity and Jim pulled out a CDR and said "I've got something for you to hear".
It was the first take demo of the song "Crossroads Moment". Jim and Jimi were finally working together again. Jim was so excited. I was instantly floored by it. Another lyric that grabbed my heart, delivered with a vocal so clear and sweet that I knew immediately it would be an all-time favourite from Jimi. Since the first time hearing it, that song has become another important part of my life and I'm glad I got to tell him that.
Thankfully I, and everyone else that is a fan of Jimi - whether it be as a solo artist or with Survivor, Jim Peterik, Cobra, Target, Bobby Kimball, Mecca, Scrap Metal, One Man's Trash...we will always have those songs and that voice to keep us going. So many songs...
As I reflect upon a loss I find hard to accept, the music of Jimi will be playing all day. I expect that will be the same for many today as he is a guy that has touched the hearts of so many.
Mine was one of them. Love ya Jimi. Say g'day to Fergie for me.
~ Andrew McNeice, September 2014.

RIP RALPH MORMAN (Joe Perry Project) 1948 - 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

RIP Ralph Morman 1948 - 2014

Singer Ralph Morman died peacefully Sunday, August 17th, following an extended illness in Ashland, Kentucky.

He is best known as lead vocalist for the Joe Perry Project from 1979 through 1980. The Project was formed shortly before Joe Perry left Aerosmith. They immediately signed a record deal with CBS Records and released their debut album "Let The Music Do The Talking", produced by legendary producer Jack Douglas. The group toured extensively in the USA and the album peaked at #47 on Billboard selling over 250,000 copies.
After the Joe Perry Project, joined the English Blues Rock band Savoy Brown featuring guitarist Kim Simmonds. He recorded two albums with them. The first was 1981's "Rock 'N Roll Warriors" which included the single "Run To Me" and became the band's highest-charting single in the USA.
The band performed several major arena shows in the USA alongside Judas Priest. The second album was "Greatest Hits-Live In Concert" released in 1982. Between 1972-1974 Ralph was in the band BUX which included future ANGEL members Punky Meadows and Mickie Jones as well as drummer Rocky Isaac (ex-Jimi Hendrix). Their album "We Come To Play" was released in 1976 (two years after they disbanded) on Capitol Records and was produced by Jack Douglas. His first "professional band" was The Outcasts who released the single "Loving You Sometimes" on Plato Records. Ralph Morman went on hiatus from the music industry for almost 25 years, but announced he was working on a solo project in 2011. Some recordings were made and may be released in the future.
He leaves behind his wife, 4 sons, 1 daughter, and 5 grand-children.



Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'm shocked and deeply saddened to hear tonight of the passing of Swedish guitarist Christian Wolff. He was an inspiring musician and another great guy that I had the fortune of meeting and working with thanks to running

I'm forever grateful for having known him and I pay my respects to his family and close friends.

A truly great loss to the MR community. May his rest in peace.

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