From page 58 of Classic Rock Magazine July 2007
Why REO got a cheap private plane hire.
REO’s preferred mode of transport in the late 70s was a 1940s-era propeller plane they dubbed The Flying Tuna. Yes, having your own plane to tour in sounds pretty boss but, as Kevin Cronin (pictured, left) told Classic Rock, the skies weren’t always friendly.
“One day we had a day off between shows, and our pilot said he wanted to fly down to Texas and pick up the owner of the plane because he wanted us to meet him. “So we’re in Texas somewhere, and we see the owner walking up to the plane. This guy looked like a thousand miles of bad road. He was big, mean and scary looking. He walks into the plane, doesn’t say a word to anybody and sits down. We take off. The guy takes out this big bag of cocaine, puts his head down and inhales; a cloud of white powder everywhere. At this point we’re all shitting ourselves. Then he walks down the aisle, right past us. There’s a little baggage compartment by the tail of the plane, he’s back there, and I hear all this clanking. Suddenly I hear all this wing noise, and I realise that this guy has opened the door of the plane behind me. Everybody puts their seat belts on. The next thing I hear is the sound of a machine-gun being discharged. This guy is sitting on the floor of the plane, with both legs against the door to keep from falling out, taking target practice at a field of cows. “Suddenly we realise why we’re getting such a good deal on this plane: we’re a cover for some illegal activity. They take us to the gig, and then the co-pilot goes to Mexico for God-knows what.”