Neal Schon Fought off ‘Scare Tactics’ in Journey Legal Battle
Journey guitarist Neal Schon said he'd endured "scare tactics" from lawyers – including his own – as he staged a battle to protect the band’s rights and legacy.
He explained that he'd begun to feel suspicious about the way the group was being managed, and went so far as to speak to parking lot attendants at shows to work out whether ticket sale reports approximately matched with the number of vehicles outside venues.
In a recent interview with Classic Rock, he said: "I managed to get out of the clenches of the old management we were with" when the fight ended in 2020. "I’m trying to think of an easy way of putting it that you’re not going to twist," he added.
"I fought so hard with everybody: management and accountants and lawyers. I was being threatened by every attorney – even my own at some times. I was gonna be sued by everybody, just to [make me] back off. They really tried scare tactics. I went: 'Fucking bring it, man. I’ve got the goods. Just try to fuck with me.'"
Schon argued he'd felt that he had to do what he'd done. "I love music, I love playing guitar, I'm a real musician," he said. "But at the same time, this is going to be my 50th year in this band next year. The only founding member still here. I felt it was my duty to start paying attention and watch what was going on, to watch over the mothership. If someone's gonna make billions of dollars off us, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be us."
He also recalled a fight with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, when original keyboardist Gregg Rolie wasn't included in the band's 2017 induction. "I refused to go without Gregg, because he was there in the beginning with me, and they didn't want him," he said. "Two days before we were actually due to go to the event, I said, 'I'm not showing unless Gregg comes.' I stood my ground and they fucking hated me for it."
While he won his argument, he said that Rock Hall bosses never forgave him, ignoring the "bunch of guitars" he'd sent them to be hung in their museum. "You know what? I don’t really care," he stated.
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