Steve Perry may have split from Journey nearly two decades ago, but the original lead singer of “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Open Arms” could reunite with his former bandmates at the upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in April. Journey has been announced as part of the 2017 Rock Hall class alongside Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, Tupac Shakur, and Yes, and now fans hope to see Journey’s on-and-off frontman from 1977-98 reunite with the band.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Journey guitarist Neal Schon said to he hopes Perry, the original voice behind every Journey hit, will take the stage with the band to play at least one song with is former bandmates at the induction ceremony.
“I’m hoping that Steve Perry will get up and do something with us,” Schon said. “I think it would only be right and just. He’s the one that created all the music with us…We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
Steve Perry has been inexplicably estranged from his ex-bandmates for more than a decade. Schon said the last time he talked to Perry in person was in 2005 when Journey received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“We did communicate a couple of years ago via email,” Neal added. “That was going really well. I was just saying hello and hoping he was well, and that’s it, just reaching as a friend and letting him know I was there as a friend. It went well and then it just kinda stopped. I’ve asked to get his number, but nobody will give it up and nobody knows what it is. So that’s where it’s at.”
Schon said he would be “very surprised” if a reunion with Steve Perry didn’t happen at the Rock Hall induction, and he even holds hope that Perry will give a nod to Journey’s current lead singer, Arnel Pineda.
“We are carrying the legacy quite well,” Neal said. “I know Arnel will be there. I think he certainly deserves a nod from Steve and everyone else for helping the legacy go on. If it wasn’t for me finding Arnel, who knows where we’d be right now…Steve would love Arnel. Hopefully he’ll meet him. Arnel is very excited about meeting him. He worships the ground that he walks on as a singer.”
Schon told Billboard he has already placed a call to Steve Perry to talk about Journey’s Rock Hall induction, but he hasn’t heard back from him yet.
“I’m trying to get through to Steve to say congratulations, and hopefully he’ll call me back,” the Journey guitarist said.
“I would hope that Steve would at least do something with us. He went and sang a couple songs with the Eels last year to let people know he can still sing, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed but I’m not counting on anything….Surely [Steve] can come and do one, a bit of one song with us; Even if it’s a couple whole keys down it’s not something we can’t handle. I’m looking forward to hearing from him and just seeing what he’s thinking and if he wants to share that at all. It should happen. It’s silly for it not to.”
In addition to Perry and Schon, original Journey members Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, and drummer Aynsley Dunbar will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as current drummer Steve Smith and keyboardist Jonathan Cain. While Arnel Pineda, the group’s frontman since 2007, won’t be inducted, he will be on hand to support his bandmates.
“I think it would be great for Arnel to be there and for everybody to witness him and everybody to give thanks to him for carrying on our legacy so well with us,” Neil told Billboard. “We’re truly grateful for finding him, and I think Steve Perry would be, too — or should be.”
While Steve Perry has never been in the same room with Pineda, that could change in April. Pineda previously told TMZ he would love to meet the original Journey singer and co-writer of the band’s biggest hits.
“I’m hoping to at least shake his hand. I haven’t had the chance for the past nine years,” Pineda said of Perry. “I’ve never met him. I hope they get inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, so maybe I get to see him.”
Steve Perry will reportedly not give any interviews on Journey’s Rock Hall nomination, but rock website Fan Asylum reports that Perry did release a brief statement after the band’s induction was announced.
“I am truly grateful Journey is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…I’m so grateful that the music we created while together has survived the test of time.”
Journey’s first album was released in 1975, which means the band was first eligible for a Rock Hall nomination in 2000. Now, the long-overdue induction could pave the way for an even longer-overdue Steve Perry reunion, so stay tuned.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]