After decades of success, including 18 Top 40 singles, Journey will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year. The band’s original lineup — Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain, Aynsley Dunbar, Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, Steve Smith and Ross Valory — is being honored, and according to Schon, there’s a possibility a long-awaited reunion performance with Perry may take place during the induction ceremony.
“I think it would only be right and just,” Schon told Rolling Stone in a recent interview, adding, “He’s the one that created all the music with us.” Perry left Journey some two decades ago and was eventually replaced by singer Arnel Pineda, who the band found on YouTube. The last time Perry and members of Journey appeared together on a stage was during a last-minute tribute show for promoter Bill Graham back in 1991.
Schon said he and Perry barely speak, and that it’s been quite a while since they actually last saw one another face to face. “We haven’t spoken in years, physically,” he recalled. “I believe when we got the Hollywood star in L.A. [in 2005], that was the first time I’d seen him in many years.” Still, Schon sounded optimistic about a reunion, saying, “I’ll keep my fingers crossed. We all love Steve. We had a great relationship for so many years. I don’t know why there’s been an absence of it for so many years besides the fact that we just moved on because we wanted to, we had to.”
“I would be surprised if it didn’t happen, but I’ll deal with it whichever way,” Schon added. “I think it’s gonna be an interesting evening.”
When asked about a Journey reunion tour — a not entirely farfetched idea should a reunion during the induction ceremony come to pass — Schon declined to speculate, but said that the door for Perry’s return “has always been open.” “[Perry’s] said it blatantly himself that he doesn’t want to do that and he’s done with that. Until he changes his mind, we’re going to keep on doing our thing.”
Below, revisit footage from the last time Perry appeared onstage with Journey in 1991: