Earlier this week, we learned that Steve Smith was returning to Journey for their summer tour with the Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason. Smith, who held down the drum stool for the band from 1978–85 and again from 1995–98, has since explained his reasons for rejoining the group.

In a post on Facebook, he said that Neal Schon, with whom he also worked on Schon's solo albums The Calling and Vortex, had regularly been trying to get him back with Journey, but his busy schedule didn't allow for it. Deen Castronovo's recent firing was done with enough of a lead time to plan for it.

It's not just his musical chemistry with Schon that led to his decision. "I've been in touch with Jonathan Cain and Ross Valory and we have a good rapport both personally and musically," he wrote. "All four of us share a common history and have created some enduring music together. I've met and spent time with Arnel Pineda and have great respect for him both as a person and vocalist."

And there's also a personal reason for coming back to Journey. "I am excited to revisit a role that was a formative part of my career, performing music that has touched many people for more than 30 years. My kids Ian, Elizabeth, Kasia and Zac have not seen me play with the group (Ian has but he was too young to remember), it will be fun to have them see me perform with the band. Finally, I can say 'yes' to the many fans who have asked if I would tour with Journey again."

He concludes by saying, "My hope is that Journey fans will appreciate a new line-up similar to the Escape and Frontiers era -- and will want to revisit this timeless music with me. By bringing my musical experience to the table along with the years that the members of Journey have spent touring, I'm sure this new incarnation of Journey will develop its own special magic. It's going to be amazing. I look forward to seeing all the fans on the road!"

However, he stresses that it is only for the next two years "and by 2018 will resume my career full-time as a touring and recording jazz musician." Smith has his own band, Vital Information, and remains an in-demand session and touring drummer.

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