On the phone with me is Keyboardist Neal Doughty, who I chose to call the Original Founder of the Band, a title that he says pays him nothing extra. It is here that I find out I am talking to a true professional – a kind and giving man who’s been at the top of his game for 40 years.
I pointed this out to Neal, how seldom it is that I talk to a nice ‘famous rocker’ and he told me he couldn’t agree more. He’s met a lot of uncool stars along the way.
Photo gallery of REO Speedwagon at Evergreen State Fair on August 30.
Neal also talks about the band’s beginnings, and the ability back in the ’60’s and ’70’s to take almost 11 years, under contract, to finally get a hit album. (High Fidelity in 1980). That just doesn’t happen any more.
Over the course of its career, the band has sold more than 40 million records and has charted thirteen Top 40 hits, including the number ones “Keep On Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling”. The band plays ALL of the hits at their shows because this is what the fans want, and want to sing along to. And, says Neal, “they’re the boss, so we do what the boss wants.”
Neal stays current with today’s bands, and is absolutely floored by ‘Foster The People’ and Pink.
Listen to the whole interview here, you’re going to love this guy, and make sure you sing along with every song on Thursday night.