RIOT guitarist Mike Flyntz has issued the following statement regarding the passing of his bandmate, RIOT‘s founding guitarist Mark Reale:
“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’Amour [in Brooklyn, New York] 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.”
Reale died Wednesday (January 25) in a San Antonio hospital due to complications of Crohn’s disease — an ailment he had battled for most of his life. He was 56 years old.
Reale had reportedly been in a coma for the past two weeks after suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage on January 11.
Mark is survived by his father, Anthony Reale, and was preceded in death by his mother, Frances Reale.
Mark spent most of his life working and performing while enduring almost constant pain and the side effects of treatment for Crohn’s disease. He was in Texas bravely attempting to practice for the shows, but was felled by a severe onset of Crohn’s symptoms, leaving him in the Intensive Care Unit at an undisclosed facility. Mark was struggling with these symptoms throughout the production of RIOT‘s new album, “Immortal Soul”, and guitarist Mike Flyntz recorded a major portion of the guitars on the LP with Mark‘s creative direction while Reale was unable to perform.