|photo: Neal Schon / Twitter|
Journey guitarist Neal Schon is still buzzing about his reunion with former bandmate Steve Perry at the recent Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in New York.
Perry joined Schon, Jonathan Cain, Steve Smith, Aynsley Dunbar, Ross Valory and Gregg Rolie at the Barclays Center in New York on April 7 for the honor, marking the singer’s first public appearance with the group in over a decade.
“It's really kind of surreal. The whole event was amazing,” Schon tells Rolling Stone. “I really loved seeing Steve Perry, who I haven't seen in a long time, since we did the Hollywood Walk of Fame [in 2005]. I went in his room backstage. I think it was one of the reasons I was so highly emotional. I hadn't seen him in a long time and I realized how tight we always were.
“Looking at the old pictures and listening to the music we made together, I got emotional. Probably had I not been in his room before so I wouldn't have been as emotional, but who knows? Steve and I were very, very tight for so many years.”
“I looked at him and said, ‘Hey man, I really miss you’,” Schon continued. “There was very good eye contact. It was real. It wasn't just things being said because of the ceremony and to keep things cool. He said, ‘Coffee is way overdue for us.’ I went, ‘Let's do it. Please.’”
While Perry joined Journey for the Rock Hall acceptance speeches, he chose not to perform at the event, with longtime frontman Arnel Pineda rejoining the group for the three-song set that included “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”, “Lights” – which they dedicated to Perry – and their signature song, “Don’t Stop Believin’”.
Watch video of Journey’s complete induction and performances here.
Asked if he thought Perry was simply too emotional to reunite on stage with the band, Schon says “I think so. He was tearing up. I was definitely tearing up. I had tears running down my eyes. I was trying to keep my composure on the stage for that event, but it was something that was too strong.”
Journey had their most successful commercial period with Perry, who joined the group in 1977; a string of multi-platinum albums followed before his departure in 1998.
In the past decade, Journey have released a pair of albums with Pineda, including 2008’s “Revelation” and 2011’s “Eclipse.”
The 2017 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will be broadcast by HBO on April 29 at 8PM ET.
Journey will return to The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas for a nine-show residency entitled “Journey Las Vegas” in May before heading out on a summer US tour with Asia in June.
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