REO Speedwagon/REO Smokers


Hi Kathy, something that I've always been curious about is that during the 1970s when almost everyone used to smoke, despite reportedly being a hard partying band, there are no photos of REO members smoking, with the exception of Neal on the inside cover of Nine Lives, do you know if any of the other guys used to smoke? I personally hate smoking but as I said, it was the 70s!

Hi Ian, I'm going to limit my response to your question about "smoking" to tobacco, since the band's heavy use of marijuana, cocaine, booze and other mind-altering substances over the years has been well-documented in various interviews and documentaries. Ironically, most of the band members weren't regular tobacco users, with the exception of Bruce Hall.

Kevin was particularly vocal about this topic. Last October, he told the Chicago Sun-Times, "I had an offer once years ago for Newport cigarettes. They offered me big money for the use of ‘Time for Me to Fly’ for something. We immediately turned it down. Being businessmen, they assumed I was turning them down as a negotiating ploy. The offer comes back, doubled. I was younger at the time, but it really pissed me off. I thought, ‘You dirty scumbags!’ If one kid started smoking cigarettes as a result of one of my songs, I’d go crazy."

After that interview was published, many asked why Kevin didn't seem to have the same concern over the band's illegal drug use, and the impact it likewise might have on kids.  


REO Speedwagon

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History of the band, their music, lyrics, instrumentation, touring, hits, chart activities, and just about everything else in between.


President of REO FANS, the band's largest international fan club, and REO fan for over 45 years, having attended hundreds of concerts all over the world.

Editor & Publisher of REO FANS NEWS

Washburn Law School

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With a 40+ year photographic history of the band, one of her photos was selected to appear on the band's 25th anniversary t-shirts. She was also featured on VH-1's "Rock Collectors," where her rock photography was displayed.

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