ANDERSON – Classic rock band REO Speedwagon brings its “Rock To The Rescue” concert to Emens Auditorium on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie. The concert kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“Rock To The Rescue” is a foundation that was begun in 2001 by REO’s Kevin Cronin and Styx’s Tommy Shaw. The two bands, who often tour together, worked to provide support to families of 9/11 victims. Recently, the foundation has raised more than $400,000 benefiting victims of the Midwest tornadoes and storms.
The Herald Bulletin talked with keyboardist and founding member Neal Doughty recently about the upcoming concert.
“A couple of times over the years we have put the thing back together on special occasions. We did a big show for Bloomington, Ill., (that had been hit with severe tornadoes),’’ said Doughty. “We looked at the area that had been hit. You would have to have seen it (in person) to really see the extent of devastation.”
Doughty was in shock when touring the area where a nice new neighborhood once stood. It was totally gone. His description was it looked like a nuclear blast had gone through there. Furniture was hanging in trees. Neighbors weren’t able to help because their houses were gone too.
Doughty, from Evansville, and frontman, Kevin Cronin along with bass guitarist, Bruce Hall, both born in Illinois, find themselves being overly protective of their home states.
Giving back to the community is something the members have done their whole career. From visiting sick children in hospitals to working with Shaw and his daughter, Hannah, who save exotic pets, to the many “Rock To The Rescue” concerts already in the books.
“Most bands that have had some good luck in the entertainment business -- that is just something they do (giving back),’’ said Doughty.