Mark Reale in critical condition


Purveyor of the Unique & Distinct
Staff member
Sep 30, 2001
Virginia, USA
Just saw this news, terrible :(

Mark Reale, guitarist for Riot, is in critical condition at a San Antonio, Texas hospital due to complications from Crohn’s disease. Reale formed Riot in 1975 and the band has enjoyed a successful career to this day, sharing the stage with everybody from AC/DC and Black Sabbath to Sammy Hagar and Kiss.

A post on the group’s official site states that Reale was practicing for Riot’s upcoming U.S. tour when he was “felled by a severe onset of Crohn’s symptoms, leaving him in the Intensive Care Unit” at an unnamed hospital. The story goes on to caution fans that Reale may not be able to perform with the band on those upcoming shows, which of course is of secondary concern to his health.

According to WebMD, Crohn’s disease is a lifelong inflammatory bowel disease in which parts of the digestive system get swollen and have deep sores called ulcers. It makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients from food.

Reale has been battling this condition for most of his life according to the post, to the degree that his bandmate Mark Flyntz recorded a “major portion” of the guitars on the band’s most recent album, 2011′s ‘Immortal Soul.’
Here's what Frank Gilchriest says on his FB wall:
Frank Gilchriest said:
My thoughts and prayers go out to Mark Reale and his family at this sad time. Mark is in an I. C. U. unit in San Antonio and not doing well. He is battling many life threatening medical conditions and is in a coma. I, along with all of his friends, family and fans all over the world are extremely grief stricken over this tragedy. Please pray that Mark makes it through this terrible time and makes a speedy recovery.

What can I say, I hope Mark fights this condition successfully... But this really sounds bad. :(
Thank you guys!!
Latest news from the RIOT camp:
Due to complications arising from treatment for Mark's illness, he remains hospitalized in San Antonio and will not be healthy enough to appear as scheduled. Mike, Tony, Bobby and Don have, at the strong urging of Mark's family, decided to perform the shows without Mark on guitar.

"We are receiving updates on his condition several times daily, and Mark is currently undergoing procedures to stabilize him. His father, in addition to several dedicated friends of the band and the family, are at Mark's side constantly as doctors work to restore him to health. In accordance with the family's wishes, no further details are being released at this time.

While we are saddened by these developments, Riot's music has been Mark's lifeblood for over 30 years. We have struggled with idea of performing without him, and we are continuing to prepare with heavy hearts, but the entire Riot organization has agreed on the importance of bringing our music to the fans who have supported us for so long.
Please watch this site for news on Mark's recovery, and we ask that friends and fans pray for the best possible outcome.

Thank you for continuing to support Riot during this difficult time, and we will see you at the shows."

Mike, Tony, Bobby and Don
(This is the translation of a German text I posted at - I figured I share it here.)

As a fan of Riot, the news went straight to my heart. Riot are currently playing a few concerts in the U.S. as a four-piece - without Mark Reale, but with Mark's guitar case on stage. Reale's family had urged them to play the shows - and I think it's the best they can do to honor Mark. I now want to leave the present for a moment and share a couple of more or less personal memories of Riot in my life.

I got into Riot's music rather late (1998). In 1999, I had the chance to see them live at the Bang Your Head festival. As expected, the musik worked even better in a live setting. The band had just finished recording "Sons of Society" and they play the great title track that day as an exclusive preview. Apart from that, I got everything I had wanted - from the then current "Angel Eyes" to the classic "Warrior". For the encore there was even a surprise cover version of Thin Lizzy's "Emerald". The combination of professional musicians and musical passion was rare back then - it's appears to be almost extinct these days.

Less than a year later, I saw the band again; this time at the Röhre in Stuttgart. Riot played a fantastic show, despite the drummer change shortly before the tour and their early position on the billing that evening. The set was much too short for my taste, of course. It was actually the last time I saw Riot live. The band's concerts became somewhat scarce and new albums appeared less frequently and weren't on par with previous masterpieces. Still, in 2002 I had another encounter with Mark Reale. I had just started writing for when I had the opportunity to interview him. It was my first interview, so I was quite excited. Once the telephone connection was there, I was both surprised and relieved to learn that this guitar wizard and songwriting master was actually a very relaxed and positive person. So we talked about the current album "Through the Storm" and also about my personal favorites "Inishmore" and "The Privilege Of Power". I made another interview earlier this year - and given the strong reunion record "Immortal Soul" I was sure that Riot wouldn't disappear from the radar any time soon.

I spent the last few days listening to the old albums. And no matter which one I picked, "Narita", "Thundersteel", "Army Of One"... - Mark Reale's guitar playing made me rave, in no small part due to the perfect fit with each particular song. Riot never were a one-man band or an ego trip. Instead, the band has always been a community of talented musicians who - most of the time - complemented each other perfectly

I could recount the band history in detail, starting with the release of the first melodic speed metal song ever ("Warrior" in 1977) and digressing to Mark Reale's flirt with hard rock (Westworld); but this is not about completeness. It's simply about this special feeling I get when I listen to songs like "Wings Are For Angels", "Fire Down Under" and "Santa Maria". It's all about this unique mix of passion, fascination and energy.

Shine on!