Neal Schon ready for double duty with Santana and Journey

Neil Schon with the reunited Santana
Neil Schon, second left, with the reunited Santana (Image credit: Getty)

Neal Schon says he’s ready to take part in a full-length tour with Journey and Santana if the opportunity arises.

They’ve scheduled two shows together – but more could be booked in the future.

He remains leader of his own band, while having reunited with Carlos Santana and his original lineup for Santana IV, which was released last week. He also launched solo album Vortex last year.

Schon tells “I got my first taste of trying to do two sets when Journey toured Canada. My solo album had just come out. My manager asked if I would be the opening act, and I said, ‘For Journey?’

“That’s a completely different audience, and I didn’t know if I wanted to do that. I said, ‘Well, it’s a good opportunity.’”

In the end he accepted the role, and performed a 40-minute solo set before returning to the stage with Journey each night.

“I was dripping wet with sweat after that, more than I ever had after a Journey set, because it was very demanding music,” he says of the opening performances.

“But I got my taste of what it’s like to play all night, and it actually was very good for me. I came back and I was really in shape, and I felt younger.

“If we did more shows like this, I’d rise to the occasion. The music takes you to another place. You don’t feel tired. It’s kind of like mind over matter.”

And Schon has no problem with taking a back seat as a member of Santana’s band, despite being boss of Journey. “Carlos has always been such a mentor to me,” he says.

“I’m happy to sit next to him, or play next to him, and not worry about how much I’m going to play.

“He’s such a joy to be around. He’s very spiritual, and I just love that. It takes me to a really great, peaceful place and he really brings the best out of me. It’s not anything that we ever have to work on.”

Journey and Santana appear together at The Forum, Inglewood, California, on August 22, and at the AT&T Park, San Francisco, on September 4. Journey, complete with returned drummer Steve Smith, have their own tour booked for later in the year while Santana are currently delivering a run of shows.

Santana tour dates

Apr 18: Quebec City Videotron Centre, QC
Apr 19: Montreal Bell Centre, QC
Apr 21: Kingston Rogers K-Rock Centre, ON
Apr 22: Ontario Casino RamaRama, ON
Apr 23: Windsor Caesar’s Colosseum, ON
May 18: Las Vegas House Of Blues, NV
May 20: Las Vegas House Of Blues, NV
May 21: Las Vegas House Of Blues, NV
May 22: Las Vegas House Of Blues, NV
May 25: Las Vegas House Of Blues, NV
May 27: Las Vegas House Of Blues, NV
May 28: Las Vegas House Of Blues, NV
May 29: Las Vegas House Of Blues, NV
Jul 03: London Eventim Apollo, UK
Jul 05: Paris AccorHotels Arena, France
Jul 08: Slups Dolina Charlotty Resort, Poland
Jul 10: Weert Bospop Festival, Netherlands
Jul 12: Vienna Wiener Stadthalle, Austria
Jul 13: Udine Parco Della Lesa, Italy
Jul 16: Stuttgart Festival, Germany
Jul 17: St Julien Guitar en Scene Festival, France
Jul 19: Rome Auditorium Parco Della Musica, Italy
Jul 20: Cattolica Area Della Regina, Italy
Jul 21: Milan Assago Summer Arena, Italy
Jul 24: Marbella Starlite, Spain
Jul 26: Porto Pavilhao Muliusos de Gondomar, Portugal
Jul 27: Lisbon MEO Arena, Portugal
Jul 30: Tel Aviv Hayarkon Park, Israel
Aug 24: Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl, CA
Aug 28: Inglewood Forum, CA
Sep 04: San Fransisco AT&T Park, CA

Journey tour dates

May 05: Nassau Carnival Pride, Bahamas
May 06: Nassau Carnival Victory, Bahamas
May 12: Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, CA
May 14: Phoenix Ak-Chin Pavilion, AZ
May 15: Albuquerque Isleta Amphitheatre, NM
May 18: Austin 360 Amphitheatre, TX
May 20: Dallas GEXA Energy Pavilion, TX
May 21: Woodlands Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion, TX
May 23: Witchita Intrust Bank Arena, KS
May 25: Memphis FedEx Forum, TN
May 27: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN
May 28: Kansas City Sprint Center, KS
May 31: Rogers Walmart AMP, AR
Jun 02: Birmingham Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, AL
Jun 04: Charlotte PNC Music Pavilion, NC
Jun 05: Raleigh Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, NC
Jun 08: Atlanta Aaron’s Amphitheatre, GA
Jun 10: Tampa Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, FL
Jun 11: West Palm Beach Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre, FL
Jun 22: Bangor Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, ME
Jun 24: Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, NY
Jun 25: Hlmdel PNC Bank Arts Center, NJ
Jun 27: Wantagh Jones Beach Theater, NY
Jun 29: Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center, OH
Jul 01: Virginia Beach Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre, VA
Jul 02: Bristow Jiffy Lube Live, VA
Jul 05: Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center, NY
Jul 07: Toronto Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, ON
Jul 09: Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, MA
Jul 10: Mansfield Xfinity Center, MA
Jul 13: Syracuse Lakeview Amphitheatre, NY
Jul 15: Burgettstown First Niagra Pavilion, PA
Jul 18: Gilford Bank Of New Hampshire Pavilion, NH
Jul 27: Nashville Ascend Amphitheatre, TN
Jul 29: Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center, OH
Jul 30: Maryland Heights Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, MO
Aug 02: Grand Rapids Can Andel Arena, MI
Aug 04: Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theatre, MI
Aug 06: Omaha CenturyLink Center, NE
Aug 07: Des Moines Wells Fargo Arena, IA
Aug 09: St Paul Xcel Energy Center, MN
Aug 11: Sioux Falls Denny Sanford Premiere Center, SD
Aug 13: Tinley Park Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, IL
Aug 16: Oklahoma City Chesapeake Energy Arena, OK
Aug 17: Little Rock Verizon Arena, AR
Aug 20: Denver Pepsi Center, CO
Aug 21: Auburn White River Amphitheatre, WA
Aug 22: Ridgefield Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre, WA
Aug 27: Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Events Center, NV
Aug 28: Inglewood Forum, CA
Aug 30: Chula Vista Sleep Train Amphitheatre, CA
Sep 01: Santa Barbara Bowl, CA
Sep 02: Wheatland Toyota Amphitheatre, CA
Sep 04: San Fransisco AT&T Park, CA

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.