Dan Fogelberg and Gary Richrath both have the distinction of being born in Peoria (Fogelberg in Peoria, Richrath in East Peoria) and starting music careers here before moving away to find fortune and fame after becoming full-fledged rock stars. Both have since died, Fogelberg in 2007 and Richrath in 2015. But that’s not all these two have in common, they both have memorial park benches here in Peoria.
I knew and I’ve documented Dan Fogelberg’s bench in the past but I recently read about Gary Richrath’s bench from an article by Phil Luciano in the PJ Star that you can read by clicking here.
I know of at least one occasion when Dan Fogelberg and Gary Richrath shared the same stage and that was when Gary’s band, Suburban 9 to 5 and Dan’s local Peoria band, The New Coachmen both opened up when The Who played here at Expo Gardens in 1968.
I thought it would be nice to visit and take photos of both benches and then bring these two together again at both locations. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do today!
The Dan Fogelberg Memorial Bench
The Dan Fogelberg Bench is part of the Dan Fogelberg Memorial located in the River Front Park and Constitution Garden on Morton Street in downtown Peoria just off Jefferson Street.
You just follow this path and there it is.
It’s a nice bench with a plaque featuring a Henry Diltz photo of Dan Fogelberg and a great quote from him. After reading that quote, I think he’d be happier to have this bench in Peoria than being in the Rock ‘ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
There also a trio of large rocks dedicated to the singer/songwriter in the garden overlooking the river. Very nice!
The Gary Richrath Memorial Bench
Gary Richrath was born in East Peoria, so it’s fitting that his bench is located at the Riverfront Park in East Peoria. It’s right over there to the right of the pavilion.
It’s an impressive golden bench and we’ll take a closer look at it.
As you can see, there’s a nice view of the river and the Peoria skyline from the Gary Richrath memorial bench.
Dan Fogelberg and Gary Richrath: Benched and Together Again
Through the magic of Photoshop here’s Gary and Dan at Dan’s memorial bench in Peoria…