Watch Joe Elliott, Sammy Hagar and Zakk Wylde wish Neal Schon a happy birthday

Birthday surprise: Neal Schon (Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder - Getty)

Journey guitarist Neal Schon got a surprise this week when he was sent a video containing happy birthday messages from some of his closest friends in the music world.

The video was organised by Schon’s wife Michaele, with artists including Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, Sammy Hagar, Zakk Wylde, Joe Satriani, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Vai, Gregg Rolie and Deen Castronovo queuing up to wish Schon well on his birthday. 

The celebrations started with a surprise party following Schon’s Journey Through Time show in Oakland on Saturday night, where he was presented with a Schon PRS Guitar-shaped birthday cake.

He also received a Gibson Vintage 1954 Les Paul Gold Top guitar from Michaele.

Schon posted how excited he was to receive the gift on Twitter, saying he was “freaking the fuck out” and followed that with an Instagram video of him playing the guitar.

He said: “Here it is – the most dynamic guitar I’ve ever played. I’m going to research it and find out just who played it as it’s an old soul that just cries and screams. Unbelievable-sound.

“The sustain is amazing. Thank you to my beautiful wife Michaele for such an incredible guitar with spirit we share. Looking forward to playing it live.”

After watching the video ‘birthday card’ Schon said: “Too fuckin’ funny. Love you guys. Let’s play some shows together this summer. @DefLeppard, @NealSchonJTT, @chickenfootjoe.”

Watch the full video below.

Earlier this month, Schon was admitted to hospital to have emergency gallbladder surgery.

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.