Zuckerberg, Gates and Spielberg Urge Band to Keep Their Day Jobs by Jeff Briskin
CHICAGO. A consortium of some of the world’s richest men has collectively offered $23 million to encourage members of REO Speedwagon to cancel their plans to reunite and go on tour.
“Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called me last week and offered $5 million if I promised not to lose 25 pounds, stop drinking or give up my full-time job in landscaping to get back together with the band,” said bassist Bruce Hall.
In April, Microsoft founder Bill Gates met with drummer Alan Gratzer and offered him $5 million in cash and free health insurance for life if he pledged never to record again or perform the band's unique brand of generic 80’s middlebrow pop on stage either in the U.S. or overseas.
“Even though the money wouldn’t be coming from the Gates Foundation, I consider this offer to be a humanitarian act—both for the group and for the population of planet Earth, which would never again have to be subjected to the band responsible for creating some of the most annoying songs in the history of popular music,” said Gates in a prepared press statement.
The lone holdout is former lead vocalist Kevin Cronin, whose histrionic falsetto on execrable songs like “Keep on Lovin’ You” and “Can’t Fight the Feeling” drove the roommates of hundreds of tone-deaf college students to nearly leap to their deaths from their dorm rooms during the early 1980s.
Cronin has so far rejected an $8 million offer from Hollywood director Steven Spielberg to curtail his plans to record a new REO Speedwagon album and go on tour with a lineup consisting of former members of the equally noxious Midwestern bands Journey and Styx.
“Steve Wynn offered me $10 million to get back in the game and take on a six week gig at the Encore Las Vegas,” said Cronin, who currently manages an Outback Steakhouse in Elgin, Illinois.
"However if Spielberg ups his offer to $15 million, I’ll seriously think about calling it off.”