Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

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Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby tater1977 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:16 am

Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

By Peter Hartlaub | August 30, 2016

http://www.sfchronicle.com/music/articl ... 191781.php

Neal Schon was barely a teenager when he became immersed in the San Francisco music scene.

Imagine an Aragon High School sophomore in San Mateo, practicing his guitar during the day, intercepting his cut slips before his parents came home, and ducking into clubs up and down Broadway in the city at night.

“I met all the club owners, and they used to hide me out in the basement. They’d let me come up onstage to play, and then I’d have to go back down in the basement and out the back door,” Schon remembers. “Everyone was so cool and very supportive to me back then. It’s all a great memory. And if I hadn’t done all that groundwork, maybe I wouldn’t have been found.”

More than 45 years later, the Journey founder’s affinity for San Francisco hasn’t waned, any more than his enthusiasm for performing music. Schon and Journey will get back to the city by the bay on Sunday, Sept. 4, closing their tour with a headlining gig during San Francisco Fest at AT&T Park.

The afternoon concert has a heavy Day on the Green feel, with Bay Area bands Santana, Steve Miller Band, the Doobie Brothers and Tower of Power also playing. Schon says he has nothing but fond memories of the outdoor Oakland Coliseum concerts, hosted by concert promoter Bill Graham. Journey played in five Days on the Green — 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982 and 1983 — before Graham died in 1991, and the concerts ended shortly thereafter.

Journey 84.jpg
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Photo: Chronicle File Photo
Mayor Dianne Feinstein and rock musicians at Airplane Mansion in 1984. From left: Paul Grushkin (Bay Area Music Archive), Aynsley Dunbar (Jefferson Starship), Paul Kantner (Starship), Steve Perry (Journey), Jon Cain (Journey), Ross Valory (Journey), Feinstein, Steve Smith (Journey), Neal Schon (Journey), Huey Lewis, Sylvester, Dennis Erokan (BAM Magazine), concert promoter Bill Graham.

“I just think the whole Bay Area really missed that kind of vibe. Because I do,” says Schon, who now lives in Marin County. “I’ve lived here my whole life, practically. So I just thought in a new day and age, even though Bill is not here any longer, that we do something to honor San Francisco and his fans with music from San Francisco.”

The Chronicle’s first mention of Schon, during a 1971 Santana show at Fillmore West, described him as a “teenage-prodigy guitarist,” with Music Critic John Wasserman writing that Schon and the group “spent their 90 minutes seething like an ant hill receiving electric shock treatments.”

During a phone interview, Schon seems filled with the same kind of energy, despite nearing the end of a grueling 57-city tour with no break longer than a week. “Just waking up in Vegas,” he says by way of greeting. (To make that sentence even more rock ’n’ roll, Schon says it at 1:35 p.m.)

Schon’s memory is strong, and full of almost surreal asides. The artist was just 15 years old when he started playing with drummer Michael Shrieve and keyboardist-singer Gregg Rolie.

“I was going to Aragon High School at the time. Gregg would come by and pick me up around noon. I’d bring my guitar to school and I’d bolt,” Schon says. “I’d take off with him, and we’d go to his dad’s apartment at the time in Belmont, where he had a piano and a little amp set up, and we would just jam, and got to know each other.”

After meeting and touring with Carlos Santana in 1971, Schon formed Journey in 1973 with Rolie, Ross Valory and Aynsley Dunbar. That jazzier, more instrumental version of Journey played the Great American Music Hall twice in its first few months, where The Chronicle’s Joel Selvin hailed the band’s “big concert-sized sound” and Schon for leading the way with “piercing, raining solos.”

The Journey lineup with Rolie singing would record three albums that did so-so sales; the band opened for Cheech and Chong at one point in 1974. Faced with losing its record label, the group was convinced in 1978 to recruit vocalist Steve Perry. The band’s subsequent “Infinity” album yielded the hits “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky.” (Schon says he gave Perry a ride in 1972 from a show at the Kabuki theater in San Francisco; they had a nice conversation, but Schon didn’t learn until years later that Perry was a singer.)

Rolie and Dunbar departed, drummer Steve Smith and keyboardist Jonathan Cain were added, and the group recorded the megahit “E5C4P3,” cementing Journey as arena-rock legends. After Perry left in the 1990s, the band received a second (or third?) life when Schon found Filipino singer Arnel Pineda on YouTube, performing scorching covers of Journey hits.

“Everybody was like, ‘You’re crazy, we don’t even think he speaks English,’” Schon remembers. “I said, ‘Who cares. He’s perfect.’”

Journey currently consists of Schon, Pineda, Valory, Cain and Smith — four-fifths of the band’s commercial-peak lineup. During the upcoming break in touring, Schon says, the band wants to record a new Journey album.

Energetic at age 62, Schon gripes that the sets on this tour have been too short, and he’s hoping to play with just one opening act, so Journey can play for more than two hours onstage, exploring beyond the older hits.

But the guitar player is in a nostalgic place as well. Schon, Rolie and Shrieve performed together on “Santana IV,” Carlos Santana’s 2016 studio album. Schon talks about everything in the past, including his years working with Perry, in positive tones.

And Schon reveals that he’s spoken with Rolie about performing music from the first three Journey albums, songs that a small group of fans have begged for, yet have very rarely been played since Perry joined the band.

“I could play it all for you right now — and better than I did,” Schon says. “I talked to Gregg about getting together, maybe doing a couple of shows at the Fillmore, and playing nothing but our old stuff. … We lost a lot of those hard-core fans when we made the move with Steve. But there are still people who want to hear those songs.”

But before that, Journey will visit AT&T Park during the Labor Day weekend for a much bigger crowd. It will be Schon’s first time playing in the venue with the full band, but he suspects it will still have a familiar feel.

“I’m just grateful, and I’m glad that we’re coming home. I can’t wait to play San Francisco,” Schon says. “I’ve traveled the world for many many years, and I just think San Francisco is the most awesome city in the world. I love the people, I love the culture, I love the city.”

Peter Hartlaub is The San Francisco Chronicle’s pop culture critic. Email: phartlaub@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @PeterHartlaub
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby tater1977 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:55 am

Santana & Journey were Timeless at The Forum

August 30, 2016S. Rose

http://guitardisorder.com/santana-journ ... the-forum/

- full article

On Sunday night, thousands of L.A. concertgoers were treated to a rare double billing of two rock titans: Santana and Journey. On any other night, each of these bands are headliners, but for this special night, they shared the stage and churned out hit after hit for nearly a combined four hours.
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby tater1977 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:14 am

https://www.facebook.com/schonmusic?fref=photo

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Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby tater1977 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:24 am

https://www.facebook.com/schonmusic?fref=photo

sd.jpg
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Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby Journey/Survivor » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:55 am

I sure hope that it's true that they will play longer shows and play more of the non-hits!

Hell, I wish they'd do one of those "An evening with Journey" tours where there is no opening band, and they play several of the Pre-Perry songs like they did during the Generations tour. Of course, if they had Deen in the band that would help lessen the vocal burden on Arnel so he wouldn't fry his vocal-cords.

I wonder what the full band lineup would be if Neal and Gregg got together to play the Pre-Perry songs in the San Francisco area?
Steve Smith on drums? Aynsley Dunbar on drums?
I would imagine Ross would be on bass.
If they do a couple of those shows, I hope they film them.
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby slucero » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:02 pm

“I could play it all for you right now — and better than I did,” Schon says. “I talked to Gregg about getting together, maybe doing a couple of shows at the Fillmore, and playing nothing but our old stuff. … We lost a lot of those hard-core fans when we made the move with Steve. But there are still people who want to hear those songs.”




Holy shit.. I'd pay good money to hear those songs live..

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.


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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby George_g888 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:31 pm

in regards to the original Journey lineup reuniting for a few shows, Neal has said practically the same thing before.. I'll believe it when it happens.

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/neal-sch ... ey-lineup/
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby Archetype » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:23 pm

tater1977 wrote:
Rolie and Dunbar departed, drummer Steve Smith and keyboardist Jonathan Cain were added, and the group recorded the megahit “E5C4P3,” cementing Journey as arena-rock legends. After Perry left in the 1990s, the band received a second (or third?) life when Schon found Filipino singer Arnel Pineda on YouTube, performing scorching covers of Journey hits.



Well I guess that's one way to gloss over 9 years of Journey history and two lead singers.
"It's really important if you're going to remain a valid band that you play your new stuff. Otherwise you become a parody of what you started out doing." - Janick Gers of Iron Maiden
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby MysteryMountain » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:10 pm

And Schon reveals that he’s spoken with Rolie about performing music from the first three Journey albums, songs that a small group of fans have begged for, yet have very rarely been played since Perry joined the band.

“I could play it all for you right now — and better than I did,” Schon says. “I talked to Gregg about getting together, maybe doing a couple of shows at the Fillmore, and playing nothing but our old stuff. … We lost a lot of those hard-core fans when we made the move with Steve. But there are still people who want to hear those songs.”


Oh mannnnn, yes please!
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:05 am

Good concept, but question is how would they market this show? Most of the fans today are following them for their greatest hits, and to hear Arnel sing it. If a Journey concert is promoted, the current fans will most likely scoop up the tickets regardless.
"Serenity now...insanity later."
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby MysteryMountain » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:20 am

Art Vandelay wrote:Good concept, but question is how would they market this show? Most of the fans today are following them for their greatest hits, and to hear Arnel sing it. If a Journey concert is promoted, the current fans will most likely scoop up the tickets regardless.


Good point, but then again, I'd lol when all those 'fans' ended up being disappointed they didn't play DSB :mrgreen:

Yes, you'd need to really put the first 3 albums on the posters, drill the point home during radio & tv spots, etc. Then again, I don't have to worry, he said San Fran only, so... unless I'm flying out there it won't effect me.
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:03 am

MysteryMountain wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:Good concept, but question is how would they market this show? Most of the fans today are following them for their greatest hits, and to hear Arnel sing it. If a Journey concert is promoted, the current fans will most likely scoop up the tickets regardless.


Good point, but then again, I'd lol when all those 'fans' ended up being disappointed they didn't play DSB :mrgreen:

Yes, you'd need to really put the first 3 albums on the posters, drill the point home during radio & tv spots, etc. Then again, I don't have to worry, he said San Fran only, so... unless I'm flying out there it won't effect me.


Ha! Maybe call it the 'In the Beginning' (like the compilation album that the put out in 1979 of the original 3 albums), featuring the original members of Journey. If they billed it as Journey, there would be a whole lotta disappointment in the parking lot that night!
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby MysteryMountain » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:59 am

Art Vandelay wrote:
MysteryMountain wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:Good concept, but question is how would they market this show? Most of the fans today are following them for their greatest hits, and to hear Arnel sing it. If a Journey concert is promoted, the current fans will most likely scoop up the tickets regardless.


Good point, but then again, I'd lol when all those 'fans' ended up being disappointed they didn't play DSB :mrgreen:

Yes, you'd need to really put the first 3 albums on the posters, drill the point home during radio & tv spots, etc. Then again, I don't have to worry, he said San Fran only, so... unless I'm flying out there it won't effect me.


Ha! Maybe call it the 'In the Beginning' (like the compilation album that the put out in 1979 of the original 3 albums), featuring the original members of Journey. If they billed it as Journey, there would be a whole lotta disappointment in the parking lot that night!


:D Right, because there is nothing Journey about Neal, Ross, Gregg, & Aynsley! :wink:

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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:10 am

Yeah, but can you really swap out for one night the current members with guys who haven't been in the band for 36-38 years, play stuff that hasn't been played in 38+ years, and still play under the same name that is doing a completely different show for a completely different audience? Unless you're KISS, I would think it would make more sense billed as An Evening with the Neal Schon, Gregg Rollie, Ross Valory and Aynsley Dunbar(?)...The Original Members of Journey

Then again, it really doesn't matter to me either, being on the east coast :wink:
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby STORY_TELLER » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:35 am

Art Vandelay wrote:Yeah, but can you really swap out for one night the current members with guys who haven't been in the band for 36-38 years, play stuff that hasn't been played in 38+ years, and still play under the same name that is doing a completely different show for a completely different audience? Unless you're KISS, I would think it would make more sense billed as An Evening with the Neal Schon, Gregg Rollie, Ross Valory and Aynsley Dunbar(?)...The Original Members of Journey

Then again, it really doesn't matter to me either, being on the east coast :wink:


Kind of agree with Art here. Only the hard core die hard fans (like ourselves) are aware that Journey started without Steve Perry. Some measure of clarification would be necessary in the advertising for this show. Otherwise, ticket buyers will be expecting to see Arnel singing the dirty dozen. Hell, some might even be expecting Perry.

I'm sure Neal and management have thought of this though.
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby Art Vandelay » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:44 am

STORY_TELLER wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:Yeah, but can you really swap out for one night the current members with guys who haven't been in the band for 36-38 years, play stuff that hasn't been played in 38+ years, and still play under the same name that is doing a completely different show for a completely different audience? Unless you're KISS, I would think it would make more sense billed as An Evening with the Neal Schon, Gregg Rollie, Ross Valory and Aynsley Dunbar(?)...The Original Members of Journey

Then again, it really doesn't matter to me either, being on the east coast :wink:


Kind of agree with Art here. Only the hard core die hard fans (like ourselves) are aware that Journey started without Steve Perry. Some measure of clarification would be necessary in the advertising for this show. Otherwise, ticket buyers will be expecting to see Arnel singing the dirty dozen. Hell, some might even be expecting Perry.

I'm sure Neal and management have thought of this though.


Agreed. They'll figure something out...and I'm sure it will be awesome.
Bottom line is that they can play what they want, with whom they want, and call it whatever they want...as long as they don't fracture the stone. :wink:
"Serenity now...insanity later."
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby Eric » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:26 am

Art Vandelay wrote:
STORY_TELLER wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:Yeah, but can you really swap out for one night the current members with guys who haven't been in the band for 36-38 years, play stuff that hasn't been played in 38+ years, and still play under the same name that is doing a completely different show for a completely different audience? Unless you're KISS, I would think it would make more sense billed as An Evening with the Neal Schon, Gregg Rollie, Ross Valory and Aynsley Dunbar(?)...The Original Members of Journey

Then again, it really doesn't matter to me either, being on the east coast :wink:


Kind of agree with Art here. Only the hard core die hard fans (like ourselves) are aware that Journey started without Steve Perry. Some measure of clarification would be necessary in the advertising for this show. Otherwise, ticket buyers will be expecting to see Arnel singing the dirty dozen. Hell, some might even be expecting Perry.

I'm sure Neal and management have thought of this though.


Agreed. They'll figure something out...and I'm sure it will be awesome.
Bottom line is that they can play what they want, with whom they want, and call it whatever they want...as long as they don't fracture the stone. :wink:



HAHA. Schon musta found some stone glue. Arnel super strength glue!
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Re: Journey’s Schon returns to San Francisco roots

Postby JourneyHard » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:13 am

They can have a show under the name J0URN3Y! That should clear up any confusion! :D
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