Happy 75th Birthday to Neal Doughty of REO Speedwagon!

by Curtis Lanclos

In the fall of 1967, with original drummer Alan Gratzer, Neal Allan Doughty (a native of Evansville, IN) formed the band known as REO Speedwagon. Since that time, the band has gone through many personnel changes, but Neal has been the only consistent member for these last 54 years.

11 years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Neal and his bandmates Brian Hitt, Bruce Hall, Dave Amato and Kevin Cronin at a meet and greet at the REO/Pat Benatar concert on July 1, 2010. They couldn’t have been nicer guys!

Me with Neal Doughty (with a Photobomb by Kevin Cronin) on July 1, 2010!

All of the guys signed an 8×10 photo I picked up in LA just a week or two before the show (thankfully, I picked up the photo containing the current lineup of the band)…

In a day and age wherein our music heroes are passing away one by one, it’s only fitting that we pay homage to the ones who are living on; especially when they reach a landmark birthday. That being said, Happy Birthday Neal! Thanks for all of the great music and the great memories! Keep on RIDIN’ THE STORM OUT!

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