Steve Perry may have changed his tune regarding a musical reunion with the members of Journey. Perry, who hasn’t responded to any interview requests regarding the band’s April 7 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is reportedly planning to sing at least one song with the group he left for good more than 20 years ago. TMZ reports that Steve will perform on at least one of the songs from Journey’s scheduled Hall of Fame setlist. But that’s news to Journey guitarist Neal Schon.
Perry’s former bandmate previously said he didn’t know if Steve was sticking around for the Journey jam session.
“I don’t know if he’s going to sit, or if he’s going to come up and make an acceptance speech then bolt out the door,” Schon said.
“I don’t know if he’s staying. I don’t know what he’s doing.”
In addition, earlier this month Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain told the Dayton Daily News that as far as he knew, Perry was expected to accept the Hall of Fame award and then “skedaddle.”
A post shared by Journey (@journeymusicofficial) on
When news spread that Steve Perry will be singing, Journey fans went crazy, including singer Nick Carter and former MTV host Martha Quinn, who wrote she “never stopped believing.”
GUYS THIS ISNT A DRILL STEVE PERRY IS REJOINING JOURNEY TONIGHT TO SING WITH THEM AT THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME. GOODNESS GRACIOUS.
— Jay Putty (@JayPutty) April 7, 2017
Not gonna lie, I teared up a bit hearing that Steve Perry is going to sing with Journey at the HoF ceremony!!! ♡♡♡ #DayMade
— Misty (@flmidnightmaven) April 7, 2017
— Nick Carter (@nickcarter) April 7, 2017
We never stopped believing! https://t.co/yxSAsz8lqn
— Martha Quinn (@MarthaQuinn) April 7, 2017
But Schon delivered some bad news just hours before the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, revealing he heard from management that Steve Perry is not signing. But the guitar legend added that he is “ready for anything,” and Steve is ‘always welcome.”
Ok everyone I'm now hearing from Managment that he's not singing. As I said before I'll be ready for anything ????????????he is and always welcome pic.twitter.com/uJ1Jsc1m0u
— Neal Schon (@NealSchonMusic) April 7, 2017
Neal initially revealed that Journey was tentatively scheduled to play three of their biggest hits from the Steve Perry era—”Lights,” “Separate Ways” and “Don’t Stop Believin'”—at the induction ceremony. But in an interview with Yahoo Music, Neal said the setlist could change if Steve decided to sing at the last minute.
“We probably won’t find out until he gets there,” Schon told Yahoo Music of the possibility of Perry singing.
“I’m hoping he’ll sing with us. The door has always been open for him to do that. If Steve Perry wants to sing, I’d like to leave [the song choices] up to him. If he says he wants to do it, let him pick what he wants. That seems like the logical thing to do.”
Steve Perry hasn’t performed with Journey since 1991, and his last tour with the band was in 1986 after the release of the album Raised On the Radio. The last time Perry performed Journey songs live was during a surprise concert appearance with the indie-rock band The Eels in 2014. Nineteen years after his last public performance, Perry stunned Eels fans at a St. Paul, Minnesota concert when he turned up to perform Journey’s “Open Arms” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ with the band, and he later took the stage at an Eels show in Los Angeles.
In an interview with Stereogum, Eels leader E (AKA Mark Oliver Everett) said Steve Perry was a longtime friend of his band, and, like Schon, he said when you work with Steve Perry, you leave the song choices up to Steve Perry.
“You can’t really tell Steve Perry what to do,’ he said. “You just go along for the ride, you know? And that’s what he wanted to do. Steve does what Steve does, and you either go along for the ride or you don’t.”
Whether Steve Perry will go for a throwback ride with Journey at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame remains to be seen. Schon maintains he heard Steve’s “showing up, and I’ve heard he’s not singing,” but he promised that current Journey lead singer, Arnel Pineda, will definitely be singing, despite the fact that he’s not a Hall of Fame inductee.
Take a look at the video below to see Steve Perry performing live with Journey.
[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]