Mark Reale of Riot in Critical Condition From Crohn's Disease
The official site posted the following on Friday:
Riot founder and guitarist Mark Reale has been admitted to a San Antonio hospital in critical condition due to complications of Crohn's disease. Subsequently, there is a possibility that he may not appear in the band's upcoming performances in the Northeast and aboard the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise to Grand Cayman.Riot originally formed in New York in 1975 by Reale, drummer Peter Bitelli, bassist Phil Feit and vocalist Guy Speranza. Their biggest album was 1981's Fire Down Below which reached 99 on the Billboard charts.
Mark has been battling Crohn's for most of his life, working and performing while enduring almost constant pain and the side effects of treatment for his illness. 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.
The band has agreed that the performances will take place as scheduled with the possibility that Mark may not be well enough in time to appear. Riot would also like to acknowledge that Mark has been struggling with these symptoms throughout the production of their new album, Immortal Soul, and that guitarist Mike Flyntz recorded a major portion of the guitars on the album with Mark's creative direction while he was unable to perform.
For this reason, fans can be assured that the show will be as exciting as anything Riot has ever staged, even if Mike needs to hold down double guitar duty. Mark will be sorely missed in this event, but the shows will go on.
We ask fans and friends of the band to pray for Mark's speedy recovery, and to support the band in our efforts to bring you the Riot reunion shows that have been so long in the making. While Mark's family insists on privacy during this difficult time, your prayers and good wishes will make it to his bedside until he is able to return to the stage.
Many thanks and Shine On!
Mike, Tony, Bobby and Don
Reale is the only original member still performing with the band.