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‘Alto was the rock star’: Bob Seger remembers longtime bandmate Alto Reed

Alto Reed died after battle with colon cancer at 72 years old

ATLANTA - AUGUST 29: (L-R) Detroit rocker Bob Seger and Alto Reed perform with The Silver Bullet Band at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on August 29, 1976 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Tom Hill/WireImage)
ATLANTA - AUGUST 29: (L-R) Detroit rocker Bob Seger and Alto Reed perform with The Silver Bullet Band at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on August 29, 1976 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Tom Hill/WireImage) (Getty Images)

DETROITAlto Reed died at the age of 72 on Wednesday after a battle with colon cancer.

Born Thomas Neal Cartmell in Detroit, Reed was part of Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band since its inception, playing on 14 albums.

He also worked with Grand Funk Railroad, Ted Nugent, Little Feat, Foghat, Dave Mason, Spencer Davis, the Blues Brothers, George Thorogood, Robin Gibb, the Motor City Horns and more.

Reed co-led the Reed & Dickinson Band with Steve Dickinson, releasing the album “Tonight We Ride.” He also released a solo album, “Cool Breeze.”

Reed was raised in Detroit and later lived in St. Clair Shores. He began playing music at an early age. He was part of the original Silver Bullet Band lineup formed during 1974.

He is survived by his children, Chelsea Reed Radler and Jon Radler and Victoria Reed and Erik Deutsch, as well as his grandson, Harry Radler, and his sister, Nancy Neumann and her husband Dave.

He also leaves behind his partner Christiana Van Ryn, his stepdaughter Sophia Van Ryn and his ex-wife of 21 years, Monica Reed.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Reed’s name to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Detroit Harmony Fund, which provides instruments to music students in Detroit. Click here for more information on the Detroit Harmony Fund.


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