He was born today February 27, 1954 in Oklahoma where his dad was stationed in the Air Force. The family would eventually move to California. Neal started out playing the saxophone and then moved to the guitar after his dad bought him one when he was 10 years old. Neal took to the instrument quickly he loved it and would practice for hours and hours everyday. His dad educated him by playing rock and roll records by The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, B.B.King and Cream.
When Neal was 15 he got an invitation from Eric Clapton to be part of the Derek and the Domino's tour. He turned down Clapton after he got a better deal from Carlos Santana to join his band. He would end up doing a couple of albums with Santana. He then  decided to move on and start his own band Journey in 1973.
Neal and Journey continue to rock and have a big tour scheduled this year with Def Leppard.