10/26 JOE Kevin Cronin Wrote REO Speedwagon Classic On Trash Bag
REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin recalled how he wrote the lyrics for classic track “Roll With the Changes” during a car journey across the U.S. to settle as a returned member of the band.
He’d left in 1972 then come back four years later, but went through a cautionary phase before deciding that the reunion was permanent, as he told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“I came back and joined the group and there was kind of a three or four month period when it was like, ‘Oh, let’s see if this is gonna work.’” he said. “I was kinda living at the old Sunset Marquee Hotel; I didn’t really have an apartment yet.” Having decided it was working, he continued, “I was gonna move out from Chicago to Los Angeles, and I had this idea in my mind… I didn’t just want to get on a plane to go from Chicago to L.A. – I wanted to really feel, I wanted to cover the country and really feel the move. It was a big move for me because I loved Chicago – I still do.
“I rented a U-haul trailer, hooked it up to the back of my Ford Pinto station wagon and headed across the country. … Somewhere between Albuquerque and Tucson I had this thought of, I was just rolling down the road. So I grabbed a trash bag that I had in the car… I’m driving with one hand, watching the road, and writing lyrics with the other one. It’s one of those things where I was in another state of consciousness – which is, a lot of times, where the best lyrics come from. When I got to Tucson there was this bag with the lyrics of ‘Roll the Changes’ on it.”
The track opened 1978 album You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish, their first LP to enter the top 40, which later went double-platinum.
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