REO Speedwagon's Alan Gratzer

Monday, January 22nd

Find out why REO Speedwagon founding member Alan Gratzen left the band after over 20 years and how he ended up living in Auburn.
00:20:29

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Walsh saw off most. Firm. New shoes here's some emotion. There. And. Allen answered very good to see you good to see you cat I was two remember how we even know each other. You know the first time we met may have been at some sort of charitable function. And I'm turn remember which one it was. You know what was it canine companions and of and that's what it was exactly as canine Camellia. So sleazy friend. We did have a mutual friend. Cartridge Chris cartridge is to see them. I haven't seen her I ever phone number but I haven't seen them for a long time now they used to live. It is in Auburn fairly close to where we live now so I drug by the council of buying an insurance generous now. For people who that don't recognize the name and I'm sure most people do. Alan Grant served found it very cute little ban. In the sixties called Arian speed lag and. This idea that you did in 1967. Told you I was at that time. And you know I'd started bans all through high school sophomore junior senior year. Got when I went to my freshman year of college guy that was in a couple of bands but none that I ate at any control over or really cared that much about I just gonna join them as a drummer. And my roommate Neil Doughty who's still in the been fifty years later so he played keyboards but it never been in Havana signal. Just go home over the summer will come back in the fall started then learn the entire first doors album which he did that we played light my fire and he played. He played note for note that eight minute or whatever length song that was that meant I was shocked he came back in mean he did the solo perfectly. And we sell the doors and TV and and they did it nothing like the record or in Wayne we can do better than to endorse it. That was our start we were copied it and you know and for peace and Bakken 67. And haven't we're gonna bounce all over the place had enough I told you this mania did that I was in San Francisco. About a year ago and hate innocent secondhand shop. And I thought teacher and RE SP like a teacher. With your guys is faces on it and I have to confess and only knowing you and our older years yeah. Was hard to figure out which I was you know well that's an old man disguised as perfect as people leave it alone and that kind of nice. About that so so my podcast for those of you who are just kind of joining the party is talking to. The characters in the personalities that make it on a California what it is how did you end up here here's nine questions and 102 and a pair. And and what did you study thing here on time yeah we have been. We when I left the band in 1988. Which is 21 years after I said the ban. My wife and I looked at each other religion right in the middle of LA and we had three kids at the time and thought we went up. Stay here in the middle of this big city and raise their kids here and keep him in private school whatever. And we looked each other and that knows who we moved to Santa Barbara kind of raise their kids and Santa Barbara. They all went at City College there in and you TSB. When the last two were in college we go to each other again and said you know what we don't have to stand at Harvard in March we don't want to that's coast somewhere. Where it's a little more real you know I mean Santa Barbara's beautiful we got a little tired of the east new businesses who taught. You can unity in this little city. As a especially when Oprah moved in. Deceased now. Thomas it is under siege in my daughter still lives there and so were in contact with her about five times their fears that fire area. Anyway so we moved up to Nevada City and lived in Nevada City for nine years but it was a two mile dirt road to get to this beautiful house on top of hill with a great view and we get tired of snow is your 3800 feet and now we live in Auburn is at three grandkids and Davis. Got farther south and hearing him. And how long evenings those we've been in now seven years so it's like you've been up here for sixteen or seventeen years ago and can you totally be you. Yeah a way I mean I've been recognized a few times but yeah it's so rare that you like being recognized me I know I don't mind as well and that's actually kind of nice bird. A change ago people do remember the and you know that's yet certainly gratifying and American assay does he used to play music. I play my drums maybe wants to piece it week. And I plays sometimes of them rarely you know with other people if I go some place and they asked me to sit and of course I always do it. Paul Colgate who ended up replacing Sam I Sammy Hagar and Montrose. Lives in the general area where I live and he has a studio he's always recording loves to play. If he needs something that he thinks I would play well and he calls me and I commend him. In a terrible things are I play. Some things there but now saying you know I'm happily retired. I say ex musician but there is no such thing as an excellent Asia now and I found a crony kinda talked a little bit about this but people listeners think. He's in this amazing why would you leave why would you leave at all and you I think there was a quote that said you had been. Father to your kids but not adapt and that's exactly what was I mean I was either in the studio or was on the road. You know I'm my wife was also she owned a couple art galleries and LA so she was. You know being pulled in two different directions at the same time where you know and I would be gone for a month or six weeks at a time so. It was I could see what the tolls taking on her eggs either of some members of the band getting divorced. And I didn't wanna go down that same road. My priority used to be aria was always you know. In the beginning you know when I was young and single and carefree. My you know that my whole life but then all of sudden you get married you have children your priorities changed and I just thought you know this is the most important thing to me and I'm not doing great job edit because I'm not round. So it was an easy decision and decisions have no regrets. How to Jimmy -- life. We lived in Champaign Urbana you know universal joint town in the middle of so she is she from back Rashid now she we it was unbelievable we're in this dinky little town. And we knew tons of the same people but I never seen her because the first time I Sar was like you know Willis cupid. Things just went right through me Allah oh my goodness look at her and I just fell and then she was in the Ph.D. program at you divide the time. And so we you know hung out in and have been moved to Southern California LA and she's moved got out of the Ph.D. program and moved to California with a rock from worse though. Anyway we've been married for another week or so 42 years. Got three kids and that Hitler great and I'll come on top of my grandchildren. Asked pat back at it now well you have it can't get in I had tape that cat and I you know we we IC heard. Grandchild also all the time and you know it's just like the greatest thing in the world he loved to death than it but it's like having a rented child you know you've. They would that you Leavitt today you know it you can make them laugh at whatever you do it and I love hanging around about then you know at the end of the day or whatever. You and I talked one of saving ten years ago and I. Was lamenting. It was about ten years ago because my daughter was a teenager. Issue is putting me through the paces and I remember saying boy it's hard to raise a child. Having done and I did at that age and you said some like hello we are rock star now having appeared in a grant experts. Looking back and and then you know trying to be an example I think it probably told you that you know this. And he sort of stage they're going through his teenage girls especially are you know boys to. But they grow out of it then you know come later on ago. You know I'm so sorry actively when you know whatever and I go oh yeah that's fine that party grower your back pocket. And our speedway and when was the moment there EU's. News you guys had mated did you have to hear your side and radio when did you realize oh my god this. SH just got real yeah well if it there was a couple times now the first time yet you're right way and we. In 1971 remain in her first album where driving back from our world bar gigs or whatever it. 1 in the morning and Olson one of our songs came on the rate of one he was 157 herbs and for the first album. They still played once while. So that was ago a police car over just couldn't. But then there was a time land and we were in. A hotel room in Chicago. This is an 81. And we had sold out five nights at the international at the theater in Chicago and because high fidelity was just doing all the sudden. This took it to another step this is in their tenth albums those now like Weaver. New Kids On The Block and this happened overnight. But John. I've noted just went to number one we use an idea that here and I are on my goodness knows that was that was the other exciting time. What do you think. What's so unique about Arian speed wagon that. That made you guys naked what was so unique about it I was just timing. In and I think a lot of it was. Persevere and see no we just stayed together for. So long when you know things were great I mean there the first four years before we even made a record I think they're. Were ten or eleven personnel changes have been and it was not trying to find the right. Mix of people that are on the same page musically and in on you got to deal with personalities so you don't want someone who's. So crazy that you know they can't just act like a normal human being around. You know each other. So. But then you know we we had you know we we'd like to play live. I think we've rocked pretty hard lives now and especially in the early. Days and then you know as we kind of mature we thought you know let's. Right couples themselves and see what happens and global. Worked it works it elbit peopled it used to. There there's a hole there is some contingent of people that you know news for the first ten years and then move goods sold out of Iraq. And we did we just kind of grew up a little bit and you know we still sound like that live. We just have a couple slow ourselves now. He had time were two point just second ago where you were filling arena after arena after arena. You know tens of thousands of people. And Reese and something that there are mornings where you would wake up and kind of have to think well what's sitting in my hand you know now it was it was true I mean you it was it was awesome it was at night it was awesome at the time. You know because we were young and it was great I mean it in our coastal together and imagined being on tour both stressed out that that's just you know raises the hairs in my arms with the other. Bad direction I could never do that I just it's just foreign to me but. They're still out there Nyhan and I. Think the combination of all money that can be made in its combination of they still low plan. Thanks. I remember you talking okay you'd Chris has interest and Allen golf from time to time and they have that in common. And it really. Golf rocks a mine and I was told exe has engulfed the forty weird him a case you. And I but he was to he passed on to meet in conversation after you guys not on time. It's talking about the rock lifestyle and correct me if I'm wrong but. It was a very. Clean and sober they're real requirements that it was not a party atmosphere that a lot of people. I immediately connect with one of the big experience in the history of rock. Well you know I mean you can do the math I was in a band in the 60s70s and eighties so I'm -- act like I'm some corner here and ended. Nothing happened did I mean there it was all. Not there is funniest stuff there but I will say we never ever went on stage. It is known nor was allowed to drink during the day and we just didn't you know and that was Gary's downfall and Gary's now lives in me died a couple of years ago. Because he just after it left the band you have to year after I did that it was Ian Kevin. I was always the guy in the middle that kept them from killing each other and when I left that Gary just gave big hug and start crime shows do and when you June 9 and the film is more important whatever so. But yes so we were you know and especially nowadays I think people. You know used to be cooled obtuse Buena toggle and a high of or whatever you know bud drinkers of the party party party. It's not the same anymore I mean I just saw. That Bruno Mars special. On TV and I just think he's in Crowe alive he's got all this energy is band sounds great they all move or an act and looking at them going. These guys I don't think they do anything at all and and they showed them go to a restaurant. And I don't think any of this was planned you know but I'd looking just a curiosity at the table there in this nice restaurant. It was water water icici bowler and I just think that this is in that they're family and other add it all kind of related cousins and whatever. And you know my favorite band that was news and I think that they are. Tito too I've never ever you know I'm pretty active and looking at their social media and stuff and they just. Look. The sober can be and you know when you see them here and talked and it's the new paired. And and you see some of that and they gave Britney Spears and thinking of Justin Bieber that we're just train wrecks who what's her name. Miley Cyrus and lo and behold. Post train wreck now you know it's hard enough as we mentioned it in a few minutes of being a teenager never mind with the world watching your every bad behavior. You know is in you grow out of yet you know this kind of realize women and did do this the rest of my life and and then you know have a bad ending somewhere or unit try to stay healthy and I was the one in the band that if you bunnies to calm group. Some ties because I'd it was like if not it's not that they don't grab because of you like you know 3 in the morning for the morning and it everybody's away and you know going crazy goes you know. We got to leave we got to go to the so the city are and we have to play. As a blitz as his tendency you know and everybody you know you throw things at me and go okay I'm going to bed sari. So what is to what is one of the biggest misconceptions. Of the rock and roll style I mean mega superstar rock and roll style and what is one of the stereotypes that spot. Well you know there's that. Thought that you know everything's just when you get really big. Which you know for a couple years there we were on top of the world so it was. It was great fun and you just think that oh boy did they must not be any problems at all you know like must be beautiful. In India but he there were worse certainly at times when I just felt like I was floating around them put off the ground. That I just couldn't believe what happened to band only to get that big. So but you know at the same time leader in that you're human being you're living your life and you know there's good and bad just like you know. It doesn't matter how much money ever a famous you get it that doesn't solve it for problems and there's a lot of people who who don't realize that that. You know going after on the outside looking in it looks like you know everything's just perfect and years but you know once a year on stage for our effort to hours and then need you gotta fill the other 22 especially. On the road in last couple years I was not happy camper just because an SP you know. Then again you never regret. Ever when you've seen it well I like nine years ago I regret the not being able to play anymore. If you know they if I can beat a reported after the show right back to my living room I would be doing it and I'd still led. Could they miss the playing part. The traveling and being away from on the net to. That outweighs everything else so when I do see them you know right. I'd go up and I'd get on stage and you know I haven't actually gotten the kit for awhile but I'll go up dancing some background and. And ways and signify that says well you're one of those there's a lot of young up and coming artists here in northern California and throughout the world that think you know I can be the next thing and you said it was perseverance what else to any younger person who's listening out there who. What's to be Iraq Starr might two wannabe rock star well you know yeah there's it's cool to be a rock star in conflict that they use that and LG all the time you know it's like you know I'd feel like a rock star but. Yeah when you are rock star it's it's pretty cool. I have to admit but. Now that I have this very kind of totally different you know 180 degree in life that's fine tooth cell but you have for somebody who's up and coming. All I can say is just get better return instrument you know just practice practice practice author high school like came home. Every day from school you know bad is back when you stacked albums on your turntable north and they drop down on time. My dad put a speaker bread behind my head down in the basement and I would sit there and I would sing every song in I would play every so flight into my mom flash the lights it was time to eat. So all of the lights are flashing an I had to stop in masters and heats up but you know you just keep playing. So back to living in northern California. At Auburn and you've lived there since it was. Quiet quieter smaller now it's kind of you know it's kind of one of the places to live we live cameras on there remember. My husband wanting to move me to Auburn and I was saying it's O. Rustic and the house in Roseville is almost an exit you know and meet human element armor now. Favorite favorite restaurant. Well our regular restaurant regular rest I mean my wife and I league legal at least once or twice a week to eat and we use the funky year places that need I mean there's some. A couple good sushi restaurants in town is a good Thai restaurant Robert ties good. But you know rule finds like Maria's tacos up just because no one's in there but it's. Hasty you know it just takes so we will. You know. Eskew the army Johns and go for the better tasting food in most cases there's a new and called. Tappan vine which I like the hobby it's I think it's beautiful room. It's nice. You know problems there's a lot of restaurants and how often do you golf. I play once or twice a week it seems like I should you retirees play their response. You also still have a life vote. Yeah I do have a vote to but the you know that it that we keep it in Ron's late but they leave you let you keep your performance on the year that that he has taken out in the middle September's. And here he does does your granddaughter and I love the pictures I love that you spent a lot of time with the rank has yet they have any idea that Cheney but he added and I public's well being number 89 year old boys is seen videos and I supposes they get older they'll show new bore interest and watching in you know my daughter and her husband if showed them. Videos of what I used to do that you know it. Doesn't even impressive you know like with my kids went ice to bring him on the road and we are filling baseballs and it is thought every kid that like that's so. It. Regrets that related to see you I'm great seeing you and Danny cannot be like three or four years probably should be Hulu. Less time in between visits and you guys golf and ability dinner. That's sounds great. This year I continue to do.
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