REO SPEEDWAGON's Founding Member NEAL DOUGHTY Retires From TouringJanuary 4, 2023
After 55 years with REO SPEEDWAGON and having spent his entire adult life on the road, keyboardist and founding member Neal Doughty has decided the time was right to retire from touring and begin enjoying the fruits of his years of hard work.
"I want everyone to know that it was all that traveling that finally got to me," the 76-year-old Neal explains in a statement. "I always enjoyed playing the shows and looking out to see all the loyal fans who allowed me to do this for so long."
"Neal will always be a member of the REO brotherhood," says bassist Bruce Hall, "and we all wish him well as he enters this exciting phase of his life."
REO SPEEDWAGON will continue as the unstoppable touring machine the fans have come to expect, with 50-plus shows already on the books for 2023. Doughty may join them on select concert stops.
"It will be a big change to look around and not see Neal behind the keyboards," says singer Kevin Cronin, "and we will miss his quick wit and interesting conversation on those long bus rides. But this is what Neal needs, and we support him."
Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by Cronin since 1972, REO SPEEDWAGON's unrelenting drive, as well as non-stop touring and recording jump-started the burgeoning rock movement in the Midwest. Platinum albums and radio staples soon followed, setting the stage for the release of the band's explosive "Hi Infidelity" in 1980, which contained the massive hit singles "Keep On Loving You" and "Take It On the Run". That landmark album spent 15 weeks in the No. 1 slot and has since earned the RIAA's coveted diamond award for surpassing sales of 10 million units in the United States.
From 1977 to 1989, REO SPEEDWAGON released nine consecutive albums all certified platinum or higher. REO SPEEDWAGON has sold more than 40 million albums around the globe, and Cronin and bandmates Bruce Hall (bass),Neal Doughty (keyboards),Dave Amato (guitar),and Bryan Hitt (drums) are still electrifying audiences worldwide in concert with hits and fan-favorites such as "Ridin' The Storm Out", "Can't Fight This Feeling", "Time For Me To Fly", "Roll With The Changes", "Keep On Loving You", "Take It On the Run" and many, many more.
REO SPEEDWAGON remained busy throughout the pandemic before the band was able to return to the road. Beginning in April 2020, Cronin began a series of webisodes from his home titled "Songs & Stories From Camp Cronin". Consisting of anecdotes and acoustic performances from him and his family, the series posted 24 episodes. Cronin and members of REO gave back over the past 16 months by participating in charity events for St. Jude Children's Hospital, Marilou and Mark Hamill's USC McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative, John Oates's "Oates Song Fest", "Stars To The Rescue," Acoustic-4-A-Cure, and more. Additionally, while Cronin began keeping a journal of the band's 2016 U.K. tour, he never stopped writing and recently submitted what turned out to be his life story, as well as his telling of REO SPEEDWAGON's history. He says, "Putting out an autobiography is risky. Once it's out there's nowhere to hide!"
Photo credit: Randee St. Nicholas
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