Journey Guitarist Neal Schon Hopes for ‘Friendly’ Communication with Steve Perry
Nearly 15 years after Journey made âTrial By Fire,â the 1996 studio album which came as a result of a short-lived reunion with original lead singer Steve Perry, itâs still a frequent question – will Perry ever come back?
Guitarist Neal Schon tells Ultimate Classic Rock that when he gets that question, âI always answer it the same way and then everybody writes it like itâs the first time I ever said it.â Schon explains, âyou know, itâs like, Iâve been saying it forever that weâve always left the door open, you know? We didnât kick Steve out — he walked.â
The touring that Perry did as a solo artist in the â90s would later lend important influence towards Journeyâs decision to continue with a new lead vocalist at the helm. âHe went on to pursue his solo stuff and went out there playing our material before we did. He was out doing a solo tour and he was playing Journey songs and so at that point, I went ‘thereâs no harm in Jon [Jonathan Cain] and I trying to reform this band,’ because we [were very involved too].â
Schon does wish that he could have open communication with his former band mate. âI hope that someday, that we can get to the point to where I can pick up the telephone and I can talk to him without talking through management and attorneys. I still donât quite realize why we canât just talk one on one, for whatever reason, just to say hello — not to pressure anybody to do anything or anything like that — it wouldnât be like that, just in a friendly manner.â
Checking in from the road, where Journey is once again in the midst of a lengthy summer tour, this time with Pat Benatar and Loverboy, Schon says âI donât see that thereâs any end to this band right now, weâre so strong. Everybodyâs getting older, but we still have so much energy and weâre doing great out here.â
Stay tuned for more of our conversation with Neal about that album and other subjects, very soon!