RIOT guitarist Mike Flyntz has issued the following statement regarding the passing of the band’s founding guitarist Mark Reale, who passed away January 25th in a San Antonio hospital due to complications of Crohn’s disease — an ailment he battled for most of his life. He was 57 years old.
“I would like to thank everyone for the support and love regarding the passing of my dear friend Mark Reale. I have had the honor to stand next to him on the stage and in the studio for over 22 years. Mark gave me the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of recording and writing records, and also touring in support of those records. I was a fan first, getting his autograph after a Riot show at L’Amours when I was in college. Mark was a shy man who didn’t talk much unless he was being interviewed or on the phone. Lord knows he could talk on the phone. Mark also loved to laugh. One part of our special relationship was that we could laugh until we were crying, and he would be lying on the floor yelling ‘please stop’ and after five minutes of silence all I had to do was look at him and it would start all over. I will forever cherish those moments.
As far as a musician, he is the most underrated guitarist, songwriter, riff creator, visionary in rock music. He should be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for his vibrato alone. LISTEN TO HIS VIBRATO. His sense of melody was incredible. He taught me so much. There is so much more I need to say about my friend but I have been at a loss of words since his passing. The only comfort I have is that he is out of pain. I will attempt to talk more about it with Fingers, Sunday night during a Mark Reale tribute on Fingers Metal Shop on WBAB 102.3, Long Island New York.
Thank you everyone!”