JOURNEY's NEAL SCHON: 'We Couldn't Possibly Be Doing Better Right Now, Even If STEVE PERRY Was With Us'
August 29, 2016
During a recent interview with the Detroit Free Press, JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon shot down persistent talk of the band reuniting with its former frontman Steve Perry, who sang on many of JOURNEY's best-known hits, including "Open Arms", "Any Way You Want It", "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Who's Cryin' Now".
"You know, what people don't understand is that we couldn't even possibly be doing better right now, even if [Perry] was with us," Schon said. "It has taken a lot of hard work to build it back up, but you know what? We're here again. We're sitting there. And management is the first one to tell me it couldn't possibly be bigger."
JOURNEY has released four albums since Perry's departure — "Arrival" (2001),"Generations" (2005),"Revelation" (2008) and "Eclipse" (2008) — with the last two featuring the band's current vocalist, Arnel Pineda.
The rest of JOURNEY's current lineup is the same as the one that recorded the band's two biggest albums, 1981's "Escape" (which sold 10 million copies) and 1983's "Frontiers": Schon on guitar, Jonathan Cain on keyboards, Ross Valory on bass and Steve Smith on drums.
Schon said earlier in the year that there is "no communication at all" between him and Perry, who made three surprise guest appearances with EELS in 2014, prompting Pineda to write in a tweet that Perry would be welcome to reclaim "his righteous place."
"I feel like I've reached out in every humane way I can... just to be friends, like we were," Schon said. "There's no reason not to be. I've tried to get his real phone number instead of talking through his attorney, but he will not give it to me, not even to say hello."
JOURNEY keyboardist-guitarist Jonathan Cain said that the band has made numerous attempts to reconnect with its former frontman, with no success. "We reach out to him," Cain revealed. "We've got an open chair for him if he wants to sing a song, whatever he wants. We have said that all along. He chooses to remain aloof and that's fine. Peace with him. We communicate on publishing, synchronization, licensing. It's almost 30 years since Steve's done a gig with us, so we're not holding our breath."
Fan-filmed video footage of JOURNEY's August 28 concert at the Forum in Inglewood, California can be seen below.