Troubled Times For Journey: Neal Schon

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Journey’s 2017 lineup: Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory, Arnel Pineda, Steve Smith and Neal Schon (Photo via their Facebook page)

Updated with Jonathan Cain’s response on August 8 and some further comments from Schon, below…

There could be changes ahead for Journey. Or not. Based on comments that Neal Schon has made in the past few days on his Facebook and Twitter pages, the Journey founder is none-too-pleased with recent actions that band members Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory and Arnel Pineda have done. In addition, Schon has been making positive comments about Steve Perry again recently that could be perceived as an overture to reunite. Or not.

It’s complex and shows how fragile personal and professional relationships are. And with the use of social media, the above paragraph can quickly be considered old news. Or not.

The July 31 article on Balitangamerica.tv, which caters to Filipinos in the US. Lead singer Arnel Pineda is from the Philippines

On August 3, Schon reacted to a story, datelined July 31, about a visit to the White House that three members of the band had made a few days earlier. A video embedded in the story carried a headline: “Journey WH Visit.” Schon wrote, in part: “Journey should never be used and exploited by anyone , especially band members for politics or any one religion.I’ve been here since 1972 and this has always been our belief. This was with intent to exploit the brand and use the name. Journey was not there – 3 individual members were Cain Valory and Pineda…”

Cain is married to Paula White, a personal minister to President Trump, who sits on the President’s evangelical advisory board.

There’s plenty more, and at the risk of misinterpreting Schon’s statement, it’s surprising that he refers to the three by their last names. After all, original member Valory has been with the classic rock band since 1973. Cain joined in 1980. And Pineda, the “newcomer,” has been a member for a decade.

In that August 3 post, Schon added: “Steve Perry myself and the rest have always agreed the music we created is for Everyone. As you can see the original picture below it states JOURNEY. I had no prior knowledge of this from anyone. Not band members or Managment [sic]. This clearly shows no respect or Unity, just Divide”

The implication is that there are deep fissures in the family.  And in a flurry of tweets on August 5, Schon expressed dissatisfaction that none of the band members or Journey’s management had reached out to him.

Fan @JPMusicLuvr tweeted: “Do u have an official meeting set w/management? Hope all stop + think hard cuz decisions made in anger are often regretted.”

Schon’s response: “Nope nothing. I’ve not heard from Managment [sic] or any band members.”

The rift appears to be long-simmering. Fan @dmitchinson wrote: “Has it ever been this bad on tour before or is a ‘first’ you’ve had to deal with?” Schon replied: “No it’s been going on now for close to 2 years.”

Journey finished their tour on July 30 with their performance at the Classic East at New York’s Citi Field.

Not to be minimized is the genuine joy that Schon and Perry expressed on the Barclays Arena stage at Journey’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction on April 7. After years of estrangement, the pair looked genuinely happy to be in each other’s company.

Related: Journey welcomed into Rock Hall Class of 2017 and Steve Perry joins Journey at induction

In the early hours of April 8, following the band’s Rock Hall induction, Schon tweeted a pic and message that longtime fans undoubtedly enjoyed…

 

Also on August 5, fan @Jrzy_Dy tweeted: “Steve said in an interview that he LOVED Neal’s playing and he misses it. when they parted ways,he misses Neal’s guitar playing.”

Fans eager for a Schon-Perry reunion will love Schon’s reply: “It’s Mutual we will reconnect. I know without talking to him.”

And on August 6, fan @nick1367 tweeted: “Neal, do you stay in touch with Greg Rolie??” Schon tweeted back: “Yeah absolutely,” referring to the Journey co-founder and original keyboardist/lead singer who departed in 1980 and was included in the band’s Rock Hall induction.

Shortly after Journey’s Rock Hall induction, Perry revealed plans to release his first solo album in 23 years.

Update: On August 8, TMZ caught up with Cain at Los Angeles’ LAX airport. They asked him: “Is it all good with Neal?” Cain’s response: “You’ll have to ask him. I have not talked to him.” Then: “Is the band going to break up over this White House visit?”

“No way,” was Cain’s response. Watch the video interview here.

On August 8, a tweet from @AnglicaRayas2 asked: “Steve no longer wanted to be in the band practically abandoning them. Why now so much love?”

Schon’s reply: “A lot of time has passed and now looking at all… I realize now how much Love and respect we’ve always had and shared with one another.”

Will there be a Schon-Perry-Rolie reunion? To be continued…

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