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Bryan Hitt

Born in Center, Texas in 1954, Bryan was one of 7 children born to Henry Chester & Mary Elizabeth Hitt. The Hitt Family was blessed with 2 sisters and 4 brothers (brother Ronald Alan was killed in a car crash in 1967). Bryan was born in Center, Texas, but grew up in the town of Joaquin (East Texas, near the Louisiana state line), spending most of his childhood and adolescence there until the family moved to Anchorage, Alaska.

Bryan graduated from East Anchorage High in 1972, spent a few years in and out of the music scene there, and in 1980, he finally moved to Los Angeles, where he still lives today. Bryan has been married to his wife Cindi since 1985, and has a son, Dakotah James (b. 2/29/96), and a daughter, Kayla Mackenzie (b. 2/12/99).
Oddly enough, this talented man started off his career in the humblest of ways.
When he was just 9 years old, Bryan joined a grade school band, where his teacher instructed him and about 19 other boys in the class to learn to play drums by tapping beats, rudiments, and drum rolls on a simple board. By the end of the year, Bryan was the only one left of the group still interested in playing drums.
The first band Bryan played with was a band with his brothers. He was only 13 at the time, and it was only the beginning of a promising career. Several other bands followed all throughout high school, and for a short while Bryan even stopped playing drums to work on other things, but soon resumed the drums and became a prominent fixture in the Anchorage music scene.
In 1980, Bryan decided to make "the big move" and moved to Los Angeles from Anchorage. It was a change from what he'd been used to in Alaska. The "big fish from the little pond" was now the little fish in a HUGE pond. And though it was tough for a while, it wasn't long before Bryan began to gain attention in the industry. Not only did he play in more bands, but he did session work for several artists, including Jef Scott, Stan Bush & Barrage, and many others. He could also be spotted on television, playing drums for artists appearing on "Solid Gold" or "American Bandstand." Bryan managed to score appearances on the TV series "Hunter," playing drums in the band as always. Along with the television appearances, he played drums for a few movies, including Karate Kid III and Nothing But The Girl.
Among Bryan's other accomplishments were spots playing with such artists as Cher, Graham Nash, and The Spencer Davis Group. He also recorded with Nick Gilder and Gary Busey. It didn't take long before Bryan became the drummer for the British based band Wang Chung. It was from this band that REO Speedwagon snagged him. Ironically enough, it wasn't playing with Wang Chung that got him noticed and advised of REO's drummer auditions.

Bryan had been playing with another band one evening when he was noticed by a lady named Lisa Wells. She was impressed by his talent and the passion of his playing, so she told him of auditions that were being held by REO Speedwagon, the band her fiancé, Kevin Cronin, was a member of. Bryan came to the auditions, played a few songs with the band, spoke with them for a while, but had no idea at that time that they already knew they wanted him as their drummer. There were other drummers to audition, and since REO wanted to be fair, they told Bryan they would let him know for sure. It was only days after this that Bryan was given word that he was the new drummer of REO Speedwagon.
Ten years later, Bryan still has a home with REO Speedwagon, and through his efforts, and the efforts of guitarist Dave Amato, REO Speedwagon remains. From the humble beginnings of playing on a board with the school band to pounding out a masterful rhythm for a well-established and respected rock band, Bryan Hitt has certainly accomplished a lifetime of work to be proud of.

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