BRUCE HALL


     In advance of REO Speedwagon's latest tour with STYX and Don Felder on the United We Rock Tour,                        legendary bass guitarist Bruce Hall took time out of his busy touring schedule to talk with                                                                                

   United We Rock Tour comes to the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater on July 19. Come out and see this stellar 

                                   line-up of some of rock's greatest bands assembled on one stage.


Q: You have been with REO Speedwagon since 1977, which means you are celebrating forty years with the band. Did you do anything to celebrate this momentous occasion?

A: (Laughs) Um, not really.The band is on tour, so I’m working. These forty years went by so quickly. It doesn't seem like it has been that long, I mean, where the heck did it go? It has been a good forty years and I love my band! I love playing all over the country. I can't even imagine doing anything else for a living.

Q: Did you think that when you put these shoes on, that you would be wearing them for so long?

A: Well, I certainly did hope so. Back in the day, when I was a kid and I first strapped the bass to my back and started playing and I always thought (redirecting) my father was a musician. He played clarinet. He always wanted to be a professional musician and he played saxophone and clarinet and he never pursued it very well. When I had that the chance, I mean, I worked with Gary before and we got along very well and he said, “One day, we are going to work together again”, and I said, “Ok buddy”. That was in 1976 and I joined the band in January of 1977.

Q: Looking back, who were some of the bands you listened to that inspired you?

A: Well, you have to understand when we were growing up, we were all hit with, well you have probably heard this story a hundred times, it was the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, which was the British Invasion, and then we had Paul Revere and the Raiders had a few great hits. Those were some of the bands I was listening to, but it was The Beatles and all that magic that did it for me. It really was a great time to be a kid.

Q: As a bass guitarist, are you self-taught?

A: Yes.

What is it about the bass guitar that attracted you to the instrument? You could have gravitated towards any instrument.

A: I actually play a lot of different instruments. I had a little band when I was a kid called Purple Haze and was basically the lead singer. We played our fist show at this teen dance and the bass player in this band was so scared that he wouldn't even play, wouldn't turn on his amp. He was petrified and didn't know what to do. So, we let him go and I started playing bass. Plus, I liked the Beatles and I thought Paul McCartney played the greatest stuff, some really melodic bass lines and somehow that fought my ear and from there, that continuation to play the bass went on from there.

Q: The UNITED WE ROCK tour is in full swing with STYX and Don Felder and is coming to the Perfoect Vodka Amphitheater on July 19th.How are things going so fat? As expected?

A: Oh, yeah! It is so fun. Don spent ten years with the Eagles and he is something else. Almost every song is an Eagles song that he had something to do with. He did a lot of the guitar parts.  And then there is STYX that we have known forever. They are just as good, if not even better, than they have ever been before. I swear, you know almost every single song that is being played on this tour.

Q: REO has always come up with some very interesting titles for their albums. One example is…. You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish. I can completely understand where that title is going but, what is the meaning of the album title The Earth, A Small Man, His Dog, And A Chicken?

A:(Laughing hysterically) Well actually, that would mean absolutely nothing. What it was is that we had an artist over at Sony and he was told that we had an album that we were working on, which was that album. They brought in this batch of different art, most of it looked normal, but there was there this one picture that we chose and the artist wrote on the top of the piece exactly what was in the picture, the earth, a small man, his dog, and a chicken. That ended up becoming the album art and title of that album.

Q: What is next for you personally, and with REO Speedwagon?

A: We are always writing and coming up with ideas. We have become good at it to stay competitive with our peers. We can write songs and record them, but we don't know what to do with what we've got. The avenues that used to be open for us, just aren't there anymore. Classic rock won't play this stuff anymore, maybe at midnight. Radio don't play music by classic rock guys and that's a drag, so I don't know what we are going to do with all this material we have available. It doesn't keep us from writing and we've got a batch of stuff. We just don't know what to do with it. It is like an artist that paints. Even though his art is not selling, he still paints because that is what he does, what he love to do.

Q: Bruce, thank you very much for taking time out of your touring schedule to do a quick interview with us today. I look forward to seeing you and the guys next week.

A: Yeah, absolutely. Why don't you come back and say hi to us after the show?

Q: That would be great! Will do!

             For more information about Bruce Hall and REO Speedwagon, log on to their website at....