REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin recalled the 10-year delay between starting to write “Time for Me to Fly” and completing the song.

The 1978 single appeared on the band’s seventh album, You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can’t Tuna Fish, and helped it become their first Top 40 LP. But Cronin had spent nearly a decade with unfinished ideas rolling around the back of his mind, as he told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.

“A buddy of mine and I just packed up and went to Colorado in my freshman year at college – my first road trip,” he said. “Another guy who’d been at high school with us lived out in Boulder. One morning we said, ‘Let’s just go to Boulder. Let’s go. We’re off!’

“When we got out there, this friend of mine, Dave Drury, he had this beautiful Guild acoustic guitar, and it was in this weird tuning that I’d never played before. I picked it up and started strumming this thing. It was like, ‘Wow!’ It was an open tuning, which I’d never even heard of before. I started ‘Time for Me to Fly.’”

Cronin soon had the verses written, inspired by his recent breakup with his high school sweetheart – one of the reasons he took the road trip from Chicago. “But I only wrote the verses, I didn’t have a chorus for it,” he explained. “It got as far as ‘I make you laugh, you make me cry’ – it just didn’t quite pay off. I always had those verses kinda in the back of my head. Years later, ‘I make you laugh, you make me cry / I believe it’s time for me to fly.’ Then I had the chorus, just in time for the Tuna Fish record.”

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