JOURNEY's NEAL SCHON On STEVE PERRY: 'I Am A True Friend Of His, Whether He Knows It Or Not'

June 25, 2020

During a recent appearance on "The Eddie Trunk Podcast", JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon was asked why he thinks the band's former singer, Steve Perry, hasn't made any live appearances in support of his latest solo album, 2018's "Traces". He responded (hear audio below): "I am as clueless as you are. I thought for sure there was hope he would be out there singing, and I was excited for him. He's been not out there for such a long time, I was happy to see him put out a solo record, and signs said he was gonna get back in it. I was all behind him to do that — not for my own benefit; for him and for the fans.

"Somehow, things always get twisted to where I'm trying to take advantage of somebody, and it's really not the issue at all. I am a true friend of his, whether he knows it or not," Neal continued. "And I get the feeling, when I'm trying to talk to him, that he thinks that I just want something. I don't want anything. I just wanna support him, to show him respect for all the great years that we had. And that's it — simply, that is it."

"What I did notice is that when he first came out and started doing the very first interviews [in support of 'Traces'], he had a lot to say about him and I, and it was all very positive, what he was talking about — our friendship and what we wrote together and what he cherishes in his heart. And then things dramatically changed, whether it was edited out by higher-ups or whatever, but it went from completely one way to another. I was, like, 'Wow! That's just too bad.' Because he was being honest, and he was telling everybody how he felt. And then it seemed like somebody had clamped down on him and said, 'Don't talk about it.' Which I've seen a lot in all the years that I've been in this industry, and I just know what goes on behind the doors, and there's a lot of politics.

"I still wish him the best. And I'm still here at home. If he's up here in the Bay Area and he wants to have a coffee or come in and check out what [new JOURNEY drummer] Narada [Michael Walden] and I are doing [in the studio], the door is open, always. In the meantime, I'm gonna be recording and moving forward.

"I have no idea why he wouldn't wanna sing or at least even go on TV and promote his record, if he doesn't wanna do a tour," Schon added. "I can understand that. But take advantage of the late-night shows and go play, at least."

Back in October 2018, Perry told Rolling Stone that he couldn't imagine working with Schon in any capacity again or even re-establishing their friendship.

The singer made his comments in response to Neal's frequent public calls for a renewed collaboration.

"I'm not sure that's possible without stirring up hopes of a reunion," Perry said. "Please listen to me. I left the band 31 fucking years ago, my friend. You can still love someone, but not want to work with them. And if they only love you because they want to work with you, that doesn't feel good to me."

Perry reunited with JOURNEY for the first time in years as they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2017. The iconic singer appeared onstage with his former bandmates as they each gave speeches, but did not perform with the group later in the event.

Perry's final full concert with JOURNEY took place in early 1987. He later rejoined his bandmates for a brief performance in 1991 to honor late concert promoter Bill Graham. He also appeared with JOURNEY when they received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2005.

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