Saturday, April 5, 2014

Journey guitarist shares memories of working with Steve Perry

In a new interview with Classic Rock magazine, Journey guitarist Neal Schon is sharing memories of working with Steve Perry during their time together in the San Francisco band.

Journey had their most successful commercial period with Perry, who joined the group in 1977, and the partnership led to a string of multi-platinum albums.

“Steve and I had some really amazing times together – when we first got together, and for years after that,” explains Schon. “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 realised 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.”

Asked what went wrong between the two, Schon says, “Things happen along the way – women come and go, 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.”

Perry left Journey in 1998 after being pressured by the group to tour following an injury that required hip
replacement surgery when the singer was diagnosed with a degenerative bone condition.

“I never kicked him out of the band – he chose not to perform,” says the guitarist. “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.”

Perry refused the band’s ultimatum to have hip surgery so he could recover and tour; Journey the hired Steve Augeri in 1998, followed by Jeff Scott Soto in 2006 and, in 2007, Filipino YouTube discovery (and Perry sound-alike) Arnel Pineda, who helped revitalize the band while their 1981 smash, “Don’t Stop Believin'”, emerged as one of the biggest-selling songs of the new digital era.

See also:

Journey guitarist Neal Schon to release new album So U
Journey top the hennemusic Hot 10
Steve Perry comments on Journey reunion rumors
Journey guitarist responds to Steve Perry reunion rumors
Search Journey at hennemusic