Audio / Link / Photo / Quote / Video / Word / Submit to the SPlog! +
Category: Link

R.I.P. Gary Richrath, guitarist of REO Speedwagon

Lead guitarist of C-U stars REO Speedwagon, Gary Richrath, has passed away at the age of 65. Here's more information, per Noise11:

Gary Richrath, lead guitarist from REO Speedwagon until 1989, has died at age 65.

Richrath wrote the REO Speedwagon hit ‘Take It On The Run’ and sang lead vocals on the songs ‘Find My Fortune’, ‘Only A Summer Love’.

In a Facebook post REO Speedwagon singer Kevin Cronin wrote, “My longtime friend and collaborator Gary Richrath passed away earlier today. I feel so sad. Gary was both a unique guitarist and songwriter, and the embodiment of the tough guy with a heart of gold. I learned most of what I know about being in a rock band from Gary Richrath. The entire REO Family mourns his death and shares in the grief of his family, friends, and fans. These words do not come close to expressing the depth of emotions I am feeling at this time…kc”

Gary Richrath joined REO Speedwagon in 1970, replacing Steve Scorfina who left for Pavlov’s Dog. In his tenure with REO Speedwagon, Richrath recorded 12 albums, the final in 1987 being ‘Life As We Know It’.

He went on to form his own band Richrath.

REO Speedwagon had 12 Top 40 hits in the USA in Richrath’s time including ‘Keep On Loving You’ (1980), ‘Take It On The Run’ (1980) and ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’ (1984).

Richrath performed one last time with REO Speedwagon in 2013 in Bloomington, Ill for Rock to the Rescue.


Escobar’s space listed on Craigslist

Over the weekend, a friend of mine posted this on Facebook — a listing of Escobar's current space in Downtown Champaign, which is up for grabs.

You can check out the full description below, which brings up the questions: Is Escobar's moving? Closing? What's going on here? As it states, the lease ends in about a year and a half, and Escobar's is not renewing. So, a move seems like the most likely answer.

$6000 / 4655ft2 - resturant space Downtown Champaign (6 E Columbia Ave)

Are you in the planning stages for a new restaurant?

Our building at 6 E Columbia Ave Champaign currently houses Escobar's. The owner's of Escobar's least expires the end of January 2017 - a year and a half from now! They have decided not to renew their lease.

The current owners of Escobar's have said they have interest in selling the business. We do not own the business only the building and thus cannot speak or negotiate for them. However if you are interested in taking over a going concern with a great reputation and a loyal customer base and following you may wish to contact them directly. if you do remember that you also need to communicate with us about a lease.

THIS CANNOT BE ONLY A BAR unless you are able to obtain a class A license.

For those thinking about a new restaurant it is never too soon to begin considering locations. February 2017 would be the possession date.

If you have interest in considering the space for a future business, restaurant or retail e mail or telephone and we can talk. We have a year and a half to plan. For the right tenant we will divide.

E mail or telephone if you have further questions.


Champaign County Board Vice-Chairman resigning

No, there is not a scandal here, as the title of this post would seemingy suggest. According to The News-Gazette, Champaign County Board Vice-Chairman Jeff Kibler is resigning, but not because of public shame - rather, because of travel commitments with his job. Though I'm sure residents of District 5 will be sad to see Jeff go, it's nice to see news about politicans stepping down honorably after years of service as opposed to the contrary alternative.


In-state and African American student enrollment increases at the U of I

According to the University of Illinois via The News-Gazette, this year's class of incoming freshmen contain 73.1% in-state students, while last year measured 71.7%.  The freshman class is also the second-largest ever, consisting of 7,565 students.

In addition to more Illinois-based students choosing to attend college at the U of I, the number of African American freshmen on campus has exceeded last year's total by 33%, jumping from 356 to 475 students.  Just last year, the university caught serious attention for continually missing the "Project 500" goal set after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While these number are certainly a commendable improvement, we're still short of the goal. Hopefully this is a sign of a continued legitimate commitment to diversity.

(Photo by Flickr user VSmithUK)


Josh Gad to play Roger Ebert in new film, Russ & Roger

Per the Hollywood Reporter, it appears as though Josh Gad has been billed to portray the late great Roger Ebert in the upcoming film, Russ & Roger

Here's more information from the article, linked above:

Josh Gad has signed on to portray film critic Roger Ebert in Russ & Roger, STX Entertainment's comedy centering on the film critic and filmmaker Russ Meyer.

Will Ferrell is already on board to play Meyer, the sexploitation king who made movies like Wild Gals of the Naked West and Faster Pussycat! Kill Kill! before finally landing a picture deal at 20th Century Fox, which liked the way he handled his budgets. The first movie out of the gate wasBeyond the Valley of the Dolls, a satire that ran afoul the censors but ended up becoming a 1970s classic.

Meyer wrote that movie with Ebert, who in the late 1960s was just a budding film critic and had written Meyer a letter of admiration. Together, the two tackled the ratings tribunal and the tightly-wound studio.

Russ & Roger is described as a debaucherous comedy centering on two outsiders who defied the Hollywood establishment and made one of the first X-rated films ever released by a major movie studio, having the party of a lifetime in the process.


Champaign City Council votes to settle on Mahomet Aquifer

Last night, the Champaign City Council voted to approve of a settlement in a suit filed against the Clinton Landfill, which is storing hazardous waste just above the aquifer itself.

In the settlement, the following were agreed to, according to The News-Gazette:

— The Clinton Landfill cannot accept any more manufactured gas plant source material — a byproduct of an outdated method of coal production — or submit any more applications to dispose of MGPs or PCBs at the landfill.

— There will have to be semiannual groundwater monitoring at the landfill.

— The Clinton Landfill has to provide at least 24 inches of additional cover over the MGPs currently there.

— The landfill does not have to remove 27,000 to 30,000 tons of MGP waste already there.

The Mahomet Aquifer is one of the foremost fresh water sources in the country, and provides drinking water for a chunck of Illinois that spans from the Indiana border to Peoria. While some Champaign council members believe the measure doesn't go far enough (and it very well may not), it seems like at least a marginal step in the right direction as far as protecting our bounty of fresh water goes, so I'll take it.

(Graphic by The Pantagraph)


Illinois football games to be broadcast in Mandarin Chinese

Today, the University of Illinois announced that football games will be broadcast in Mandarin Chinese via online radio. This seems like a natural fit for the U of I, seeing as though more than 4,500 of the undergraduate population is from China. For an atheltic department and sport that could use a substantial boost, this seems like a fantastic marketing move as well, as American football is now more accessible to an international population than ever before. Maybe now we won't consistently get ripped on by Deadspin for having the saddest student section in the country.

The broadcast will feature David He and Bruce Lu behind the mic, and will be available starting this season. More info can be found here.

To anyone who doubts Champaign-Urbana's status as an international city (or cities), what's more international than this? Every day we're more connected, and every day it's more exciting than before.


RSVP to SZA at The HighDive

SZA is hot right now — and she's playing at the HighDive September 16th. Provided you are 19 or older and RSVP, admission is only $3. Click here to RSVP (admission not guaranteed — it's first come, first serve). Red Bull Sound Select performers Lizzo and Povi are also playing. A very cool show, and at the dirt cheap price of $3, attendance is a no-brainer.



U of I to name Lou Henson Court at State Farm Center on Monday

Per the Champaign Room:

Photo from WILL.


Oktoberfests announced

Dates for two Oktoberfests have been announced.

C-U Oktoberfest, organized by the Developmental Services Center, will happen in Downtown Champaign 3 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, October 10th. Check out SP's reviews of the 2013 and 2014 events in the meantime. Additional information is available on the event's Facebook page

Crane Alley will also celebrate Oktoberfest from 1 p.m. to close (or whenever the food is gone) on Sunday, September 20th. Tickets are not required; traditional German dress is encouraged. 



Photo by Jessica Hammie