Neal Schon is well aware that the music video for Journey’s hit song “Separate Ways” is…well…not great.

The infamous music video came up during a recent interview with Vulture when Schon was asked to rate “Separate Ways” on a “cringe scale” between 1 and 10.

“Oh my God! You know what a lot of people don’t understand? This was the very beginning of MTV. Nobody was making $200,000 videos or $500,000 videos or $3 million videos,” begins Schon. “Some people were paying a million and a half for a music video because they had a movie producer backing them financially. What a freakin’ rip-off. I mean, that’s what it became.”

He continued, “But back when we did this, our manager came to us and said, ‘Look, we need to get a music video. Who should we use?’ I suggested the director Wayne Isham. He came in and put together the storyboard. It was going to be in New Orleans, on a pier. Is it terrible? The air guitar and keyboards are cheesy as hell. I give it a 10 on the cringe scale. It’s so silly, man.”

Schon would go on to criticize additional music videos saying, “Journey was not a band that did well with videos that had story lines. ‘After the Fall‘ was terrible. ‘Chain Reaction‘ was a little more fun. Steve [Perry] and I were pushing each other around for that one, and I’m in his face. I think the only videos that really worked for Journey were when live concert footage was used. It was like a live performance — showing the audience, showing us onstage.”

Schon and Perry are now on friendly terms, but when he’s not reconnecting with his old friend (or, apparently, bashing their old music videos), Schon is still very busy with Journey. The band is releasing their new studio album Freedom — their first new LP in 11 years — tomorrow (July 8.) Freedom is available for pre-save/pre-order here.

Journey is also hitting the road this summer on select tour dates in the United States in between residency shows in Las Vegas. A full list of upcoming show dates can be found at

9 Music Videos with Strange Plots That Make No Sense

  • Lindsey Buckingham - 'Holiday Road'

    We’re really coming out the gate with a weird one. So, Buckingham appears to be trapped inside of a dystopian office building/prison. The water cooler appears to be filled with a Windex-colored solution, and a construction worker is laying a brick wall in front of the office building/prison window. At the end, it appears Buckingham’s rocker spirit escapes the building and walks off into the distance. For real, we have no idea what to even make of this one. Thank goodness this banger of a track was used in Vacation, or else we may have ended up forgetting all about it altogether.

  • Journey - 'Separate Ways'

    A mysterious woman is walking around a shipping dock. Add in awkward air instrumentation, some super-earnest singing while staring directly into the camera and an “it was all a dream” ending, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for ’80s gold!

  • Pat Benatar - 'Love Is A Battlefield'

    Great song, terrible video. Pat Benatar’s character runs away from home to the big city to become a type of hooker that only slow dances with dudes. There’s then a shimmy confrontation with her pimp, which she wins, and Pat and all her friends live to dance another day.

  • U2 - 'Numb'

    The pitch:  Let’s do terribly annoying things to The Edge, and he doesn’t react at all, because he’s numb. Get it? Side note: The part with the feet is just gross…unless you’re into that sort of thing. (No judgment if you are. You do you!)

  • Bon Jovi - 'Always'

    Okay, this one is a bit weird, but here’s the simplest breakdown: An artsy couple is being artsy. Then the artsy guy hooks up with the artsy girl’s roommate. Artsy girl finds out and runs to the loft of another artsy guy. They hook up. Artsy girl then calls the first artsy guy and he shows up at the second artsy guy’s loft. There’s a fight about a sexy painting…AND THEN THERE’S A BOMB?!

  • Billy Squier - 'Rock Me Tonight'

    The plot? Billy Squier dances around his tastefully decorated home wanting to be rocked tonight. It’s also step one of a one-step plan on how to kill your rock and roll career.

  • Huey Lewis and the News - 'Hip to be Square'

    Not sure if there’s a plot to this one, to be honest, but if there is one, it’s, “Here’s what Huey Lewis’s tonsils look like!”

  • Nelson - 'After The Rain'

    A kid with a terrible home life gets whisked away into a Nelson poster. He then meets a Native American who gives him a feather and directs him toward a trail only to see his favorite band Nelson rocking out on a rocky hillside. But then he wakes up, and it was all a dream…OR WAS IT?!

  • Damn Yankees - 'High Enough'

    This is certainly difficult to forget this one: A couple on the run, a police standoff and then there’s Ted Nugent inexplicably chomping on gum the entire video AND his involvement in the video’s “twist ending.”

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

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