Journey guitarist Neal Schon is suing the city of San Francisco over a $240,000 fee to use a local landmark for his December 2013 wedding to reality tv star Michaele Salahi.
The couple were married at the Palace of Fine Arts, and rented an adjacent building for the reception.
According to NBCBayArea.com, Schon had initially agreed to pay the city $58,000 for use of the facility and claims officials unfairly jacked up the fee for the city’s permit six days before the wedding after learning the event was to be broadcast via pay-per-view.
Schon called the last-minute fee hike “extortion” and unhappily paid for the permit so the wedding could proceed, according to the lawsuit.
One of Schon’s lawyers, Rebecca Coll, says: “City administrators are not supposed to make up what fees to charge people based on who they are, or because they agree to share their wedding – or anything else – on television. The Schons had a right to share their celebration with the world in real time without being penalised.”
Filed on February 6, the federal lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for the fee and other issues, including allegations the couple were prohibited from using a room in the adjacent building as planned and that limitations were placed on photographers during their wedding day.
Schon has released two solo records 2012’s The Calling and 2014’s So U since Journey issued 2011’s Eclipse. Last year the guitarist said he was writing material and hoping to motivate the band to enter the studio.
Meanwhile, Schon and Journey singer Arnel Pineda will make guest appearances on the February 23 self-titled debut release by Revolution Saints, a band featuring the drummer Deen Castronovo, former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich and Night Ranger bassist Jack Blades.