It is late at night in the early ’70s.
You are listening to your local FM rock station.
A song comes on, its crunchy intro mixing some nasty wah-wah guitar with a little Hammond organ. Halfway through, there’s a pretty cool guitar solo.
Then you listen to the lyrics.
Well, your blacks are dyin’, but your back is still turned
And your freaks are cryin’, but your back is still turned
You better stop your hidin’, or your country will burn
Whoa. This is a protest song!
Then, in the last minute, there’s another pretty cool guitar run.
“Golden Country,” REO Speedwagon, from “R.E.O. T.W.O.,” 1972.
That’s Gary Richrath on lead guitar. He wrote “Golden Country.” He left the band in 1989.
That’s Neal Doughty on the Hammond organ. He’s the last original member of REO still with the band.