Dating a fellow band member

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It’s not just his new relationship that’s got him smiling.With a new album, , coming out March 27, Madden has been having fun traveling with his brother and fellow band member, Benji.“It wasn’t what he thought was the coolest idea in the world but he contributed to them a lot, honestly.Gary wanted to rock it up and I don’t blame him because we rocked as good as anybody .” In 1989 Richrath’s battle with alcoholism and his growing musical differences with other band members led to his departure from REO Speedwagon.“The show is about all of us coming together, dating, learning through a dating coach how to go out there and approach people that are better suited for us and kind of get over the issues that we were having.And it ended up just becoming like this chemistry happened within the house with a few of the castmates, and Pauly and I were one of them…I feel like people think we’re completely different, but [we] ended up being pretty alike in a lot of ways.” Even though they’ve been going strong for several months, they are not using the terms “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” just yet.“I don’t see the necessity to be friends with anyone you’ve dated but definitely out of respect of the time, you have to be kind of respectful and that’s what I try to do.” Since then, he’s been dating Nicole Richie, 25.

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“Gary wasn’t so big on ballads,” recalled his fellow band member, Bruce Hall.“He’s my best friend, so I love spending time with him,” says Madden.“It’s [also nice] having someone on your team, because the world has a very different perception of you than the person you really are.” In that regard, he says, “I’m just a really normal, sensitive kind of go-about-my business everyday kinda guy.When the 21-year-old Richrath had joined the band, however, it was as a guitarist inspired by blues-influenced players like Jeff Beck and he was always best known for his spectacular live performances.In their heyday REO Speedwagon would play to thousands of fans in vast stadiums and Richrath’s guitar slashing was a highlight of every performance.He subsequently released one solo album, Only the Strong Survive (1992), although he briefly rejoined the group in 2013 for a concert in aid of the residents of central Illinois who had been displaced by heavy storms.

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