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Neal Schon’s Okie Roots

Journey/Santana guitarist gets his own day where he was born

By Gary Graff
June 6, 2017

After his tenures with Journey and Santana, Neal Schon is identified with the San Francisco Bay Area. But the guitarist was actually born in Oklahoma — on the Tinker Air Force base, where his father was stationed — and on Monday (June 5) he was honored with Neal Schon Day in Tulsa while Journey was in town for a show that night.

Schon, who’s also been inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, said that: “It’s emotional for me. My mother and father are looking down…I never imagined [this] would happen, so I am very, very grateful and proud to be here.”

Schon dedicated the show to his mother, who passed away last year. Meanwhile, Schon and Journey bandmate Jonathan Cain appear to be feuding over creative control of the group as well as Cain’s outspoken born-again Christianity, trading pointed messages over social media. Both have previously expressed differences over the musical direction Journey should be taking, as well as whether or not the group should even release new material.

Journey does have shows booked through the Classic East show with Fleetwood Mac and Earth, Wind & Fire on July 30 in New York City.