Neal Schon Shares Steve Perry’s Contribution To Journey’s Legend
Image via (L) Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (R) Ultimate Classic Rock
Neal Schon shared Steve Perry‘s contribution to Journey during an interview on the BACKSTAGE PASS Rock News.
Schon revealed his first meeting with Perry and how he changed the musical direction of Journey when he joined the band. He said:
“They were very frustrated with the fact that we weren’t making radio hits even though we were attaining a huge underground audience. It was like we played with everyone from Cheech and Chong to Leonard Skinner, and I kid you not, we opened up for Thin Lizzy, we opened up for everyone. We opened up for Kiss, we opened up for everyone that known under the sun.
“I had met Steve Perry years before that, and I didn’t know what he sounded like, but he had approached me a couple times before when we were in the beginning, when we were playing as the four of us in Journey in the little clubs down in L.A.”
Perry thought that when you’re the singer, you should be the songwriter too. Schon shared:
“You know, obviously, being the singer that he was, and he was a drummer also and he played bass and a little bit of guitar. So, every time he would strap on the bass or be singing, you had the root note sitting there.
“As you know, when you’ve got a lead vocal melody and the main melody of a song, that root note can change everything. And so him having a great idea about what he’s hearing, it made it easy for me to wrap my head around what he was hearing. If he picked up the bass like, if I didn’t quite understand where the root was from where he was singing, he was able to express that and play it or even rhythm-wise, this is the kind of feel I’m thinking.”
The guitarist also shared how they recorded their classic “Don’t Stop Believin’,” adding:
“We record like we’re going to play live.
“Steve was one-take from top to bottom and barely ever even finish like re-doing anything.”
Watch the full interview on the video below.