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.
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.
Click here to hear the interview.
REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin says he’s usually “not one for nostalgia.” But coming off an extended 30th anniversary celebration for the group’s nine-times-platinum 1980 album “Hi Infidelity,” Cronin has a somewhat gentler view of the past.
But, he adds, the future is still his paramount concern.
“I’m much more into looking forward and keeping the creative juices flowing,” says Cronin, 61, who has in fact been working on new material, REO’s first since releasing the “Find Your Own Way Home” album in 2007 (with a holiday album in 2009).
“I think maybe the fact I am in kind of a creative mode right now makes it a little easier to embrace the nostalgia. If all you’re doing is being nostalgic, I think that gets stale pretty quick. But when the creative juices start flowing and you’re also open to accepting the beauty of some of the things you accomplished in the past, those things can go hand in hand.
“I’m feeling really strong in both of those ways right now. And as a result we’ve got, believe it or not, people coming up to us after the show who are like, ‘You guys are better than ever right now.’ To be hearing that at this point is pretty gratifying.”
And, Cronin adds, it’s even more encouraging that some of that praise is coming from fans who weren’t even born when “Hi Fidelity” was released, much less older REO favorites such as “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” “Roll With the Changes” and “Time For Me to Fly.”
“These are young people at our shows I’m talking about high school and college kids,” Cronin notes. “We’ve got people of all ages coming to these concerts and we’re just kicking ass and we’re having fun and enjoying what we’re doing.
“It’s just another one of those great, tight periods for the band. Everyone is healthy. Everyone’s feeling the creative spurt that we’re on and everyone is embracing the beauty of what’s got us there. To have five guys all in the same mindspace, it’s a really special thing. I can’t take that for granted.”
REO Speedwagon and the Tubes perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights. Tickets are $45 and $35 pavilion, $16 lawn. Call 568-268-9700 or visit www.freedomhill.net.
We are offering a special 20%-off discount for the JOBS film soundtrack, which includes the new re-created version of "Roll With The Changes." Don't miss out download your copy by clicking here:
(Enter Promo Code: REOJOBS)
CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT ENDORSES PUBLIC ART DISPLAY OF OVER-SIZED FIRE HYDRANTS TO BENEFIT FALLEN POLICE & FIREFIGHTERS
City-Wide Program To Launch September 11th for Two-Month Display of 5-Foot Fire Hydrants in Downtown Businesses, Parks and Tourism Destinations Before Auction Benefitting the 100 Club of Chicago
WHAT: The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants, presented by Wintrust, is a public art exhibition that will celebrate the heroism of Chicago’s firefighters. Scores of artists will decorate 5-foot tall fiberglass fire hydrants sponsored by local businesses. Organizers plan to install 101 hydrants one for each Chicago firehouse at private businesses, parks, plazas and tourism destinations from September 11th until November 11th. Following the public exhibition the hydrants will be auctioned to benefit the 100 Club of Chicago, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the families of fallen police and firefighters.
Artists representing all skill levels from students to some of the most acclaimed artists in the world are participating. From 12 years of age to 87, each artist is bringing a unique perspective to this city-wide art campaign celebrating "Chicago's Bravest."
PRESS CONFERENCE: Press Conference to Officially Announce Program Thursday, August 8th 4PM
Engine Company 42 55 E. Illinois
WHO: Chicago Fire Department Commissioner, Jose Santiago Board Members from the 100 Club of Chicago Wintrust Community Banks, presenting sponsor of The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants
TESTIMONIALS "Our sponsorship of The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants campaign is a reflection of our commitment to the communities that we serve and particularly to the heroes who have dedicated their lives to the public service and protection of those communities. If we can help to raise awareness about fire safety for families, we absolutely want to be a part of that." - Edward Wehmer, CEO of Wintrust Financial Corporation
"The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants campaign is going to get people talking. When you see these 5-foot tall monuments to public safety, you are going to instantly think of fire fighters and their dedication to our communities. Sometimes it is easy to forget the sacrifices that these heroes make for us, but I hope these artistic expressions will serve as testament to everyone in our community how valued our firefighters are to all of us. We are truly honored to be a benefactor of this program." Joe Ahern, CEO of the 100 Club of Chicago
ABOUT THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE HYDRANTS The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants campaign was created in partnership between Agency 360, LLC and Innovation Ovation, Inc. to raise awareness and funds for fire-related charities and to showcase public arts. For more information, including artist biographies and display locations visit: www.GreatChicagoFireHydrants.com
HYDRANT SPONSORS (to-date)
AT&T Athletico Baker Tilly Bella Bridesmaid Benesch BergerSchatz Blue Man Group Bracken Box CH Distillery Chicago Fire (Soccer Team) Chicago Sun Times Chicago Trolley Co. Chicagoland Speedway Concierge Preferred Culligan Water Dan Weissman DePaul University East Bank Club Federal Reserve Fiat First Alert Fox Auto Golub International Real Estate & Development Hawthorne Race Course Hot Stuff Cinnamon Whiskey Hyatt Hotel IMAX - Navy Pier Lagunitas Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC) LAZ Parking Lurie Children's Hospital Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation Maxine Salon MB Real Estate McHugh Construction Meijer Merlin Media Mesirow Financial Motorola Solutions Foundation Navy Pier NBC-5 Oak Street Council Q-BBQ Ram Racing REO Speedwagon Sammy Hagar Tavern in the Park The Resnick Automotive Group United Services Walter E. Smithe Wintrust Financial