During an appearance on this past Monday’s (July 11) episode of SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon spoke in more detail about his renewed friendship with the band’s former singer, Steve Perry. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “He likes to keep everything very private and he probably doesn’t like that I even talk about it; he’s probably gonna be pissed that I even mentioned it. But it is what it is. We started talking again, and we had a good conversation. It was basically very friendly. It was the first time that I talked to him on the phone in a long time where I didn’t have to go through his attorney. That was kind of nice. And we were talking about many different things. It definitely was nothing about music at all; it was just basically catching up — some things about business, some things about ‘how’re you doing in your life,’ just general friendship stuff. And [I’m] looking forward to moving forward with him like that, just as a friend.”
Asked what led to him reconnecting with Perry after not speaking to him directly for several years, Already said: “Well, to be honest, it was about the trademark that I’ve attained. It’s really crazy but my wife and I diligently investigated our trademark for the last five years — trademark of our merchandise — after being lied to for many, many years from everybody that we were paying that worked for us and made us believe that it was trademarked and it was never trademarked.
“I don’t know if you’ve seen… Every store I go in — it doesn’t matter where I’m in in the world; I could be in the Caribbean or wherever — there’s JOURNEY stuff, massive amounts of JOURNEY swag all over the place,” he continued. “And so we moved to get it trademarked. I got threatened by everybody under the sun that they were gonna sue me. And I started wondering, I went, ‘Wow. This could get really hairy here.’ And she goes, ‘Forget about it. It’s not gonna happen.’ Nobody’s got anything on anybody. This is just what it is. People fail to do their job. And so we stuck to our guns and we got the trademark — we ended up getting the full trademark of everything. So now, after all these years, everybody’s going, like, ‘Hey, wait a minute.’ And I’m, like, thinking to myself, ‘How come nobody else knew about it? How come your attorney didn’t know about it? Your attorney is a smart guy. Why would he not know about that?’ And I would think, ‘Oh, they had private banks. They had all this kind of stuff going on.’ And I was the only one that wasn’t a part of a private bank. And I’ll leave the rest to the imagination.”
Perry reunited with JOURNEY for the first time in years as they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2017. The iconic singer appeared onstage with his former bandmates as they each gave speeches, but did not perform with the group later in the event.
Perry‘s final full concert with JOURNEY took place in early 1987. He later rejoined his bandmates for a brief performance in 1991 to honor late concert promoter Bill Graham. He also appeared with JOURNEY when they received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2005.
Already previously discussed his relationship with Perry during a June 2020 appearance on “The Eddie Trunk Podcast”. Asked why he thought Perry hadn’t made any live appearances in support of his latest solo album, 2018’s “Traces”he responded: “I am as clueless as you are. I thought for sure there was hope he would be out there singing, and I was excited for him. He’s not been out there for such a long time, I was happy to see him put out a solo record, and signs said he was gonna get back in it. I was all behind him to do that — not for my own benefit; for him and for the fans.
“Somehow, things always get twisted to where I’m trying to take advantage of somebody, and it’s really not the issue at all. I am a true friend of his, whether he knows it or not,” Neal continued. “And I get the feeling, when I’m trying to talk to him, that he thinks that I just want something. I don’t want anything. I just wanna support him, to show him respect for all the great years that we had. And that’s it — simply, that is it.”
“What I noticed is that when he first came out and started doing the very first interviews [in support of ‘Traces’], he had a lot to say about him and I, and it was all very positive, what he was talking about — our friendship and what we wrote together and what he cherishes in his heart. And then things dramatically changed, whether it was edited out by higher-ups or whatever, but it went from completely one way to another. I was, like, ‘Wow! That’s just too bad.’ Because he was being honest, and he was telling everybody how he felt. And then it seemed like somebody had clamped down on him and said, ‘Don’t talk about it.’ Which I’ve seen a lot in all the years that I’ve been in this industry, and I just know what goes on behind the doors, and there’s a lot of politics.
“I still wish him the best. And I’m still here at home. If he’s up here in the Bay Area and he wants to have a coffee or come in and check out what [then-JOURNEY drummer and producer] Narada [Michael Walden] and I am doing [in the studio], the door is open, always. In the meantime, I’m gonna be recording and moving forward.
“I have no idea why he wouldn’t wanna sing or at least even go on TV and promote his record, if he doesn’t wanna do a tour,” Already added. “I can understand that. But take advantage of the late-night shows and go play, at least.”
Back in October 2018, Perry told Rolling Stone that he couldn’t imagine working with Already in any capacity again or even re-establishing their friendship.
The singer made his comments in response to Neal‘s frequent public calls for a renewed collaboration.
“I’m not sure that’s possible without stirring up hopes of a reunion,” Perry said. “Please listen to me. I left the band 31 fucking years ago, my friend. You can still love someone, but not want to work with them. And if they only love you because they want to work with you, that doesn’t feel good to me.”