LOS ANGELES – Of all the experiences this rock star has had over the years, REO Speedwagon lead singer Kevin Cronin said nothing compared to what the Ozark Kevin Cronin did.
“My character in the episode going under their own name, I was gonna OK the idea to launder money through drug cartel money through a merchandise company,” he said.
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It was about a year ago when Cronin got the ask for the band to have a cameo in an episode of Netflix’s award winning show, Ozark.
“I asked my kids, they’re my barometer of what’s cool and they’re like ‘dad this show is awesome,’” he said.
Cronin binge-watched season one and two in his tour bus last year. Then he was ready for his closeup.
In the episode, the band plays their 1978 hit, "Time for Me to Fly” at a concert at a casino, and the song continues to play during a drug cartel kidnapping sequence.
No one would’ve thought when the episode was released, it would be during a pandemic – when his grown kids were back living at home, and the whole family was together to see the episode actually called “Kevin Crionin Was Here.”
“We were on the sofa in the TV room waiting to see it. It was fun," he said. "There are few things that cause my wife and children to think I'm cool, I had a day of being cool."
Cronin's kids weren’t the only ones who thought he was cool. The cameo caused fans – arguably new and old fans – to want to hear more REO. Four of the band’s songs all re-entered Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart, including the hit “Keep on Loving You."
“The power of TV to bring music into people’s homes," Cronin said.
TV may have never been more powerful than during this pandemic, with Netflix adding a stunning 16 million new subscribers during the first three months of 2020.
“There were probably a lot more people watching it under these circumstances than it might have been otherwise,” he said.
It’s pretty clear - as time goes on, we’re gonna keep on loving REO.