Best known as founding member and lead guitarist of Journey, NEAL SCHON has enjoyed a remarkable career as one of rock n' roll's top virtuosos, with a hand in creating some of the most popular songs of all time. His story began more than 35 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area, when a 15-year-old Schon left home to join Santana as a teenage prodigy. As a member of that Classic Rock band during their early '70s peak, Schon recorded on 1971's No. 1 album, Santana III, which features Schon playing lead guitar for the hit song, "Everybody's Everything," and 1972's Caravanserai, which reached the Top 10 of Billboard's Top 200 chart.
Journey, one of the most popular American rock bands of all time, of which Neal Schon is a founding member, has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 gold and platinum albums, was awarded the prestigious "Legend Of Live Award" at the 2011 Billboard Touring Awards, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005. As the only member to record on all of Journey's albums, Schon continues to lead the band today in its latest incarnation. With new lead singer Arnel Pineda in the fold, the group released 2008's Revelation, which marked the band’s biggest first-week sales in more than a decade, debuting at #5 on Billboard’s Top 200and earning the band their 11th Platinum album certification to date. 2011's Eclipse soon followed, which became the band’s second straight Top 20 Billboard album with Pineda, hit the Top 40 internationally, and launched one of the band’s most successful tours ever, drawing nearly one million fans worldwide.
In addition to his five solo albums and 14 studio albums with Journey, Schon has also performed with Joe Cocker, Sammy Hagar, Paul Rodgers, Larry Graham, Betty Davis, Michael Bolton, fusion legend Jan Hammer and supergroup Bad English,as well as a variety of side projects. In demand as one of the leading guitarists of his generation, Schon also worked with Gibson to manufacture his own limited edition "Neal Schon Signature Model Custom Les Paul” guitar, but now uses custom PRS Neal Schon LTD Private Stock guitars, made especially for Neal by Paul Reed Smith.
Taking a detour from his main job, the multi-talented Schon just released his latest solo album, The Calling. Produced by and featuring Schon on all guitars and bass, the 2012 album also marks a reunion with former Journey member and current in-demand drummer Steve Smith, who lends his virtuoso talents to all 12 tracks on "The Calling". Schon set up shop at Berkeley’s famed Fantasy Studios during a break from Journey's busy touring schedule, and started recording completely from scratch to finish the entire album’s worth of tracks in just four days. After overdubbing multiple guitar and bass parts, Schon recruited two keyboard masters to flesh out the music. Igor Len, an accomplished classical, jazz and film composer who had previously collaborated with Schon, is featured on acoustic piano throughout “The Calling”; while GRAMMY Award-winning special guest Jan Hammer (Jeff Beck, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Miami Vice soundtrack) recorded Moog synthesizer solos on two tracks. Recently, Schon teamed up with Dan Barnett (Journey: Live In Manila) to produce the video for the first single and title track from "The Calling".
While celebrating the release of The Calling, Schon will be back on the road with JOURNEY this year, as the band’s 2012 tour begins on July 21 inSan Bernardino, Californiaat the San Manuel Amphitheatre. Concerts are scheduled through December, with most dates featuring special guests Pat Benatar featuring Neil Giraldo and Loverboy.
1. The Calling
Neal Schon (guitar, bass), Steve Smith (drums), Igor Len (keyboards). This song has a cool mixture of blues, eastern melodies, rockin' riffs, and some slammin' solo improvisation.
2. Carnival Jazz
Neal Schon (guitar, bass), Steve Smith (drums), Igor Len (keyboards). Igor plays great acoustic piano on this track. To me it's a cool mixture of rockin' melody and jazz.
3. Six String Waltz
Neal Schon (guitar, bass) Steve Smith (drums), Igor Len (keyboards, orchestration). This track has an old Journey feel to it.
4. Irish Field
This track features just two guitars and a little imagination of a beautiful open field. This one is for M:)
5. Back Smash
Neal Schon (guitar, bass), Steve Smith (drums), Igor Len (keyboards, synthesizer solo). I originally wanted to use a couple of vocalists on this track. It didnÕt pan out so I turned it into an instrumental.
6. Fifty Six
Neal Schon (guitar, bass), Steve Smith (drums), Igor Len (piano, orchestration), Jan Hammer (Moog synthesizer solo). This track originally started out with a cool drum part that Steve Smith came up. The track has an eastern flavor to it that I love, featuring electric sitar. This has an early Journey prog rock vibe to it.
7. True Emotion
Neal Schon (guitar, bass), Steve Smith (drums), Igor Len (keyboards). This features a classical blues vibe with a cool Hendrix-type vibe in the middle.
This track features me on guitars and bass, Igor Len (orchestration), Steve Smith (drums), plus special guest Jan Hammer playing Moog solos.
9. Primal Surge
This is a great song for sports channels! I play guitars and bass, Igor Len on keyboards and Steve Smith on drums. I love the embodied melody in the song.
10. Blue Rainbox Sky
This track is a dedication to Ronnie James Dio the night he died outside my house - the sky was blue and itÕs that feeling that was the inspiration for the recording.
11. Transonic Funk
Just a cool funky jam with Steve Smith (drums) and Igor (keyboards).
12. Song Of The Wind II
This track was directly inspired by the first Song of the Wind off the first Santana Caravanseri record. I recorded this with the guys in the last 30 minutes of our sessions.