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Neal Schon Says Steve Perry Wanted Journey to ‘Sit Still and Not Do Anything’

Neal Schon Steve Perry
Mike Coppola / Alberto E Rodriguez, Getty Images

Despite having not worked together since the mid-90s, Journey guitarist Neal Schon admitted that he and former lead singer Steve Perry had “some really amazing times together.” In a new interview, he says that their split was more the result of them growing apart than anything else.

“Things happen along the way – women come and go,” he tells Classic Rock Magazine. “And things sometimes go sideways, which it did, and I was sorry to see that happen, but it did. It wasn’t really a fault of anyone’s. We all had a lot of different things to deal with: you’re growing up, you’re in a big band, and you’re making lots of money. You’re doing whatever you’re doing and it’s not helping the situation. It’s hard to keep it all together. But things happen for a reason.”

Schon insists that Perry’s decision to leave was his and his alone. “I never kicked him out of the band,” he continues. “He chose not to perform. He didn’t want to sing with us. He didn’t want to do a record. He didn’t want to do anything. That was pretty much where he was at. And he wanted us to sit still and not do anything too. But we all wrote the music together, and I think we’re all entitled to play it if we wish.”

Still, there is a touch of nostalgia in his tone when he talks about the early days of their time together. “Steve and I had some really amazing times together,” he says. “He was a very funny guy, and he liked to party with the best of us. In the beginning, when we wrote ‘Lights’ and ‘Patiently,’ the first two songs we wrote together, we realized immediately that we had chemistry. And the guy was really funny to be around, so we hung out all the time. We were very tight and close for years and years.’

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