Keyboard player Neal Doughty is not only the single remaining original member of REO Speedwagon, he's also the single Hoosier in the band. I rang him up before the band's show in Bloomington – one of several in the state in the last year or so – to talk about his Hoosier roots, plus his love for now-Hoosier Duke Tumatoe. (And yes, you can expect them to play "Time for Me To Fly" on Friday.)
"Back in the day when I was actually preteen, there wasn't really a big rock and roll thing going yet. When I was a kid, about the only rockers around were Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. Of course to this day, you can hear a little Jerry Lee Lewis in my playing, and just about every other rock piano player. Of course going back before him was Johnny Johnson, who played for Chuck Berry, who really invented about every rock and roll lick that there is. Didn't get much credit for it at the time. Then when I got into my high school age, that's about the time the Beatles hit the Earth. That was all over. Probably the biggest contribution they made was that every kid in the world wanted to be a rock musician, because of the Beatles. ...
"I lived in Evansville until I was about 12 years old. When I was 12 years old, there was not current music as we know it, yet. I was listening to my mom and dad's music, which was Dean Martin. They were into Perry Como, the crooners of the '50s. It would make a kid want to be a singer, but I wasn't capable of doing that. ...
"Of course there was Mellencamp. Extending to your northern border, a lot of the guys out of Detroit probably influenced all Indiana musicians, as well as the ones over in Illinois at the time. This might be a known fact, but of course Duke Tumatoe, who is now an Indiana musician, was once in REO Speedwagon. Right now he's my favorite Indiana band. He was just always such a creative guy. Tongue in cheek all day long, and of course a great musician. Right now, I'm going to call him my favorite Indiana musician."
REO Speedwagon with Tim Stop,
Friday, Dec. 11, 8 p.m.,
Indiana University Auditorium,
1211 E. 7th St. (Bloomington),
prices vary, all-ages