How Steve Perry Stood Up for Neal Schon Guitar Solo
Steve Perry recalled how he’d stood up against label pressure to protect a guitar solo created by Neal Schon for a Journey song – and said he doubted Schon even knew about the argument.
Tension rose as the band were working on 1981 album Escape and the track “Who’s Crying Now,” which was one of the first Perry co-wrote with new member Jonathan Cain.
“I was the one who told Neal, ‘Let’s do a solo’ that late night morning,” the singer told Forbes in a new interview. “I said to Neal, ‘I saw you play the Starwood with a Fender Twin, just leaning back with a white strap and a wah-wah pedal. Why don’t we just plug that in? Forget the rig … just plug it in and sketch a little bit.’”
He recalled that Schon recorded “about four different drop-in sections” and that became the solo on “Who’s Crying Now.” “The label wanted to fade it cause it was too long for radio – radio wouldn’t play it if you left it that long," Perry continued. "I said, ‘I am not fading that solo.’ And I don’t even think Neal knows that I fought the A&R guy.”
He told the label rep, “We are not fading that solo. … They can pull out and go to the news if they want to. The radio station can make the decisions, but do not fade that solo. ... And I’ve never once heard that song played where the whole solo does not get played, because it’s excellent.”
Perry said he remained uncertain whether he’d tour in support of comeback album, which comes out tomorrow.
“If I do go on tour I will certainly play a nice amount of songs from the album Traces, most certainly,” he said. “ It’s gonna be torture for me to not play the whole thing. But also, if I go on tour you bet your ass I’ll be playing the Journey songs, because it’s a part of my life, a part of my history. I think everything will be a challenge as to what doesn’t get played.”