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Neal Schon on Why Steve Perry Didn’t Sing with Journey

Journey guitarist Neal Schon says that emotions were likely what kept Steve Perry from performing with the group at last week's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.

Schon tells Rolling Stone that, "Knowing everything else and how he was feeling -- he was very emotional too -- it's understandable to me that he wouldn't want to sing. It was just highly emotional." Schon says he was caught by the emotion of the moment, too; "I had a whole speech written out...definitely from the heart. When I walked up to the mic and Steve met me and gave me this big hug, I just couldn't get it together to read, so I didn't read...I had tears running down my eyes. I was trying to keep my composure on the stage for that event, but it was something that was too strong."

Schon adds that he and Perry actually had a nice reunion prior to the ceremony; "I looked at him and said, 'Hey man, I really miss you.' There was good eye contact. It was real. It wasn't just things being said because of the ceremony and to keep things cool."

Journey returns to Las Vegas for a residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino starting May 3, then begins a summer North American tour on June 2 in Durant, Okla.

Perry has said he's working on his third solo album, and first since 1994, with plans to release it this year.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.