Page 1 of 1

Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:57 pm
by zman7720000
I'm just going to leave this here for some of you to unpack...

Journey’s Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump
Chris Willman
Music Writer

Just about every classic rock band split has its so-called Yoko — that is, the outside figure some fans claim got between the principals and “broke up the band.” In the case of Journey, could that “Yoko” turn out to be… Donald Trump?

Journey hasn’t broken up yet, but a steady stream of social-media commentary from guitarist and co-founder Neal Schon has brought to light a deep schism within the veteran group, brought to a head when three other members of the group visited the White House and posed for pictures with the president. Schon has devoted dozens of tweets to his fury over not getting a heads-up about the visit, which resulted in headlines erroneously suggesting that the entire band had made a friendly stop in the Oval Office.

Schon claims that he’s neutral toward Trump and that the apparent feud is more about band politics than Washington, hinting that the rest of the group has talked about going on tour without him. For fans, it’s a startling revelation that, behind the scenes of the group’s seemingly triumphant shows at the Classic West and Classic East festivals in July, and even at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in the spring, harmony did not prevail.

“How would you feel if u found out that the rest of the band wanted to tour without me?” Schon asked on Twitter. “They will not tour with Journey name. Trust me. I’ve spent way too long building to give up the brand… F-ing insane. It is a serious try at hijacking JRNY… It’s now time for the truth (about) all I have endured this year, enough is enough. Exposing any abusive, malicious behavior.”

For Schon, that behavior includes buddying up to Trump, after, he says, they’d previously had internal meetings, and even discussed publicly, agreeing not to bring politics or religion into the band. Both of those are touchy subjects, since keyboard player Jonathan Cain has stated publicly that he brings Jesus onto the stage with him at Journey shows, while Schon has declared that the band as an entity shouldn’t appear to favor any deity in particular. Cain’s entrée into the White House at any given time is an easy one: his wife, Paula White, is the pastor of a Pentecostal megachurch in Florida who became a household name even in secular circles over the last year as the president’s primary spiritual advisor.

It’s not surprising that Schon didn’t receive an invitation to tag along to the White House, but he was enraged when he apparently found out about it by seeing an NBC story singer Arnel Pineda posted in his Facebook feed with a headline indicating the entire band had attended. “Everybody’s entitled to like and believe what they want but when we’ve had this discussion many, many times it was always a no WH. All know,” Schon wrote. “Arranged photo op against what we’ve all stood for up until 2 years ago (when) Jon changed radically… And then on top of it the stories that have stemmed from their visit say JOURNEY was there. Like I don’t exist. I brought all these guys in.”

In response to a fan’s tweet asking, “Is this going to affect the band lineup?,” Schon replied, “I’m not sure. The last two years have not been easy. Was fine till then.” Answering a tweet saying it was “time to ditch the toxic people in your life,” Schon got religious for a moment, posting emoji of praying hands and writing, “Amen to that. I don’t deserve this bs. I will cut it all out like cancer. Too f-ing toxic to live in.”

Schon turned down a request from Variety for an interview, responding, “I’d love to but it this time I’d rather wait a bit. I’m being approached by many mainstream people. In due time.” Representatives for the band could not immediately be reached for comment.

Other band members have been circumspect in reacting to Schon’s grievances, but Pineda did respond to a fan who wrote “I’m starting to lose my respect for Arnel,” responding, “Reminder: I don’t belong to any political group nor inclined to any religious sect.” On Twitter, Schon knocked down a suggestion that the Filipino-American singer was “naïve” about the visit, saying the fill-in for Steve Perry was full aware what he was doing, and suggesting he was ungrateful for being brought in a decade ago by Schon.

Just in case there was any doubt about where Schon’s loyalties lie, he’s posted photos of himself with original singer Perry, writing on Instagram: “Steve Perry & Neal Schon are the true heart & soul of JRNY from 1972 Infinity and beyond.” Asked by fans on Twitter about the possibility of the two reuniting, Schon admitted he hadn’t been in contact with Perry since the Rock Hall reunion, but feels intuitively that a lasting reunion is in the cards anyway: “It’s mutual we will reconnect. I know without talking to him.”

Pineda seemed to take the hint. “Just so you know,” the singer wrote in a hashtag-filled post, “I have no problem being an #expendable #entity. Nothing’s #permanent in this world. Constant change’s our #bestfriend.”

Sunday night, as word of the dispute grew among fans, Pineda addressed it more directly on social media, tweeting: “mayB nobody deserves to go through THIS bt maybe dis s what needs 2 happen 4 us 2 know wat kind of HOUSE we all helped build through d years.” The singer left it open as to just how strong a group foundation he thinks will be revealed after all this inspection. But when a fan responded with a request that the band members not “let a tweet war replace real discussion,” Pineda co-signed with a hopeful “Agree.”

The biggest winner so far in this fracas, if any? Seth Meyers, who’s gotten a lot of viral-video play out of the feud. Although Schon has not specifically taken digs at Cain’s televangelist wife in his tweets, he’s repeatedly posted a video of a segment the late-night comic did roasting White’s mixture of prosperity gospel and and politics, in which Meyers had fun with clips of the pastor/advisor adopting black dialect in front of an African-American audience.

Cain hasn’t addressed the controversy in his Twitter feed, which continues to be filled with Bible verses and family photos, now that the band’s tour is over. But he did acknowledge adversity: “God protect me from ANYTHING that wasn’t sent by you,” Cain tweeted, adding, “He is my shield and my sword.” Scripture as the ultimate subtweet?

Re: Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:04 pm
by brent
According to Neal's tweets yesterday, the guys had a meeting at the manager's office, discussing what should and should not be publicized in the band's name. JC has been doing work with his wife, Paula White, and has been pimped as a member of Journey at Paula White events. He is a member of Journey, but the deal was, according to Neal, that any private activity is private activity, as to not alienate Journey fans.

Here's a goodie:

Re: Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:18 am
by John Boy
Okay. I'll post my opinions being a huge Journey fan all my life.

Herbie Herbert formed Journey by taking Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie from Santana and building a band around them with Ross Valory, George Tickner, and Aynsley Dunbar. I won't go into the chronology of band members in detail although I could. After performing as Journey since New Years Eve 1973 and releasing three unsuccessful albums, Herbie brought in Steve Perry. Amazing music came from the Perry/Schon connection despite reservations about becoming more commercialized and the sound changing even into the Escape album in 1981. Journey had started out as Neal's band but over time became Steve's band somewhat. Although Steve was met with some criticism, Neal quickly got over that once he saw album sales rising and more people, including women, coming to their concerts. Neal seemed to lose control though once Steve was allowed to fire original bassist Ross Valory and long time drummer Steve Smith. Once Journey got back together in 1996, I think Neal wanted to establish Journey as what it was originally. Journey was a band about the music and the people who listened to their music. I also think he wanted to protect the Journey name and get more control of the band like he had before Perry. After Perry was let go, Neal had to make a decision about Journey's future. Here comes Steve Augeri in 1999. Almost a decade later, Augeri is gone. Neal brings in Jeff Scott Soto and lets him go almost a year later. We all know the Arnel Pineda story. That brings us to today.

Neal is upset because three members of Journey went to the White House. The headline read something like Journey visited the White House. Journey did not visit the White House. Neal does not want Journey to be about politics or religion, which Journey shouldn't be. Journey has never been about religion, politics, race, etc. Randy Jackson played bass in 1986, and Arnel Pineda has been their lead singer for years. Journey has always been about music. The music has always been about relationships, struggles, and real people. Neal is not anti-USA or anti-religion. I've seen him solo the Star-Spangled Banner and Amazing Grace. He wasn't trying to push any personal agenda. He just took two well-known pieces of music and gave them some Neal Schon flair. Journey should not get into politics or religion. Neal just wants to make music for the fans.

I do not like Paula White. I think she's using the Journey name for her own benefit. I hate what's going on in Journey at the moment. As a huge Journey fan, I have a lot of personal opinions about where the band has gone. I'm proud of Arnel Pineda and his success, but I don't think he sings the Journey songs well at all. At first, he did. Now, he overdoes it. I miss Deen Castronovo on drums. I miss Steve Augeri on vocals. I think they pushed him too hard, and he never got the recognition Arnel has received. Steve Perry can't handle the vocals anymore. I've heard him sing. The soul is there, but the range is long gone. As for Journey members going to the White House, they have the right to do so. It's their individual freedom to do so. I understand Neal's resentment though. It wasn't "Journey" who visited the White House. Maybe he's making a big deal over nothing. Maybe he's not.

I'm done.

Re: Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:52 am
by brent
That was good.

I would pay for a tuned down show with Perry. JC has got to go. He doesn't look like he wants to be there. They can play to keyboard tracks. They already have tracks amyway... or have someone else play. Nobody would really care.

Re: Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:49 pm
by John Boy
Steve Perry did a couple of songs with the Eels a year or two ago. They had to go down two whole steps with Journey music. Songs in A were dropped to F. Having said that, I'd go see Journey if Schon and Perry were to collaborate one more time. I've never seen Perry live. They could always bring in Gregg Rolie. He's been touring with Ringo Starr for the last few years and occasionally doing a Santana gig. In fact, he and Schon both played on the new Santana album and did some shows with Carlos. Neal knows enough bass players and drummers who could fill in. They could bring back Randy Jackson on bass if Ross Valory doesn't want to play ball. As for drummers, Steve Smith is a huge Perry supporter. Deen Castronovo doesn't have a full-time gig at the moment. He might be willing to come back if invited. In fact, to play behind Perry, I'm almost certain Deen would. I wouldn't see the current Journey line-up for free if they came to my home state. They've been to my home state twice since Arnel joined. I'm not going to bash Arnel for being the latest singer. He was offered a job that brought him out of obscurity and poverty. Who wouldn't want that? I just don't think he sings the songs as well as he did when he first joined. I saw the version with Augeri and Castronovo three times and the version with Soto once. Great versions. I'd like to say I saw Perry one time. Will it happen? Stranger things have happened.

Re: Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:45 pm
by brent
Deen has two projects going at the moment. One of the album's will be released in September. That is the Revolution Saints record. They will be doing some touring. I can't recall with the other project is and I don't remember if they are touring or not.

Re: Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 pm
by John Boy
I knew about the Revolution Saints project. I don't consider that to be a big thing for him since Jack Blades has Night Ranger obligations. I figure if Neal called Deen, he'd make himself available. I haven't heard about any other Deen projects but will look into it. I love Deen. I know he fell off the wagon big time, but he's changed his ways for the better now. He's always been one of my favorite drummers. He's also an amazing singer.

Re: Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:12 pm
by brent

Re: Neal Schon Blasts Bandmates for Meeting With Trump

Posted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:40 am
by Mountain Man
Neal Schon always struck me as a bit of a jerk. Claiming that he's only about the music is BS. I remember him saying in an interview that when Cain and Perry demoed "Open Arms" for the band, Schon hated the song because he didn't think it lent itself to a strong guitar part. There are also rumors that he completely remixed the Eclipse album to make the guitar louder and more prominent whereas before it had more of a classic Journey sound. There have been enough other instances over the years that lead me to believe that Schon is less interested in maintaining the band's integrity than he is in maintaining personal control.

Arnel Pineda has done alright. He's a nice guy, and he's got talent, but he has a tendency to oversing. Everything is belted out. I think Steve Perry could get back into touring shape if he spent some time training and reconditioning his vocals. He may never get back his original range, but I think he could get close to it. Whether or not he wants to is another matter. He's had a very comfortable retirement living off the considerable royalties from all the songs he wrote for Journey.