Neal Doughty of REO Speedwagon Announces Retirement From Touring
The founding keyboardist of REO Speedwagon and the only member to appear on all of the band’s albums, Neal Doughty, has announced his retirement from touring.
The band shared this sad news on their website. They wrote:
“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.
“I always enjoyed playing the shows and looking out to see all the loyal fans who allowed me to do this for so long.”
REO Speedwagon started in 1967 by Doughty and drummer Alan Gratzer. Doughty was majoring in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois when the two first connected there. In 2011, Doughty said:
“Just by chance, meeting Alan across the hall in the dorms, we started goofing around. I’d never played in a band, but I’d always played piano at my parents’ house. They had one and I kind of taught myself to play it, starting somewhere around early teens. So, it was just a thing that I was kind of faking my way through it. I go, ‘Oh, yeah, I can do this thing, no problem.’ And then over 40 years, I finally sort of picked up a few things!”
Bassist Bruce Hall added:
“Neal will always be a member of the REO brotherhood, and we all wish him well as he enters this exciting phase of his life.”
Despite the announcement, the band said that Doughty will still join them at selected stops for their shows in 2023. Singer Kevin Cronin said:
“It will be a big change to look around and not see Neal behind the keyboards, 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.”