Tag Archive: Arnel Pineda


http://ultimateclassicrock.com/journey-neal-schon-nude-picture-leak/

Journey

The celebrity gossip website TheDirty.com has removed a naked picture of Neal Schon after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the Journey guitarist’s attorney. The self-shot picture depicts Schon standing in front of a bathroom mirror with his shirt pulled up and naked from the chest down.

TheDirty.com claimed that Schon sent the offending picture to a woman on Facebook and that the woman’s husband got the picture from her Facebook account and distributed it, The Huffington Post reports. Schon later reportedly deleted his account after his girlfriend, Michaele Salahi, found out about the picture and became upset with him.

However, Schon’s attorney claims that the “schlong shot” — sorry about that! — was stolen from his cellphone and posted online without his permission. “Mr. Schon owns exclusive copyrights and other valuable rights with respect thereto,” the attorney wrote in a letter to the website. “Mr. Schon has never consented to anyone ever publishing the photograph; it was always meant to be private.”

That’s why they are called private parts, isn’t it?

The letter, which is dated Dec. 15, continues: “If they fail to take the requested action, the owners of the website … will be held for substantial compensatory damages and punitive damages.”

Apparently the threat was enough to scare TheDirty.com into taking the pic down.

A rep for Schon went even further, claiming that “Neal has received menacing text messages over the past couple weeks from a person he has never met, telling him that he was in possession of Neal’s stolen phone and threatening to release the photos. Apparently this person decided to carry out his threats.”

The rep also insists the photo scandal has not damaged Schon’s relationship with his girlfriend. ”Neal and Michaele are doing great and are very much in love,” the rep says.

Advertisements

neal schon

http://www.tmz.com/2011/12/17/neal-schon-penis-cease-desist-letter/

Please go to the link above and read the article and tell me what you think about this.

Journey reunion unlikely, Steve Perry says

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20127812-10391698/journey-reunion-unlikely-steve-perry-says/

CBS/AP) While the resurgence of Journey’s hit song “Don’t Stop Believin'”
provided some reunion hope to longtime Journey fans, former lead singer Steve
Perry says a it’s not likely.

 

 

“It’s like any emotional, committed relationship,” he said to the Associated
Press. “At some point, they seem to all have a shelf life and bands are no
exception.

 

“Life has moved us all on in different places in our lives. They’re doing
what they’re doing – they have been since ’98. And I’ve been doing what I’m
doing, which is living my life and having a personal life.”

 

 

Perry’s interview came ahead of Tuesday’s release of Journey’s “Greatest Hits
Vol. 2” and the remastered version of Perry’s 1984 solo album, “Street Talk,”
which included the No. 1 hit “Oh Sherrie” and the ballad “Foolish Heart.”

 

Perry’s former band mates have continued on since his departure 13 years ago,
performing as Journey with a new lead singer, Arnel Pineda. Even though Perry
says they have all moved on, he said he still delights in the songs he did with
Journey that keep getting airplay.

 

Thirty years after its release, Journey’s most memorable hit, “Don’t Stop
Believin,'” is still heard in movies and on TV. Most recently, the song appears
in Brad Pitt’s “Moneyball.”

 

The song has managed to reach an even younger audience through the hit TV
show “Glee,” which has also featured other Journey hits “Faithfully” and the
medley version of “Any Way You Want It/Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin.'”

 

“It’s very shocking because now I’m getting it for 7-, 8-, 9-, 10-year-olds
coming up to me, and they love that song and they’ve made it their song,” said
Perry, 62. “It’s just amazing to me.”

Arab strongman: With Gadhafi death, an era passes

FILE - This undated photo shows Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. A U.S. official says Libya's new government has told the United States that Gadhafi, 69, is dead. The official said Libya's Transitional National Council informed U.S. officials in Libya of the development Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. His death on Thursday, confirmed by Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, came as Libyan fighters defeated Gadhafi's last holdouts in his hometown of Sirte, the last major site of resistance in the country. (AP Photo/File)http://news.yahoo.com/arab-strongman-gadhafi-death-era-passes-151535237.html

CAIRO (AP) — He often looked like a comical buffoon, standing before audiences, bedecked in colorful robes, spouting words that most of the world considered nonsense.

Yet the death of Moammar Gadhafi was a milestone in modern Arab history, in some ways more significant than the overthrow of lesser autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt.

Gadhafi was the last of the old-style Arab strongmen — the charismatic, nationalist revolutionaries who rose to power in the 1950s and 1960s, promising to liberate the masses from the shackles of European colonialism and the stultifying rule of the Arab elite that the foreigners left behind after World War II.

He was swept aside by a new brand of revolutionary — the leaderless crowds organized by social media, fed up with the oppressive past, keenly aware that the rest of the world has left them behind and convinced that they can build a better society even if at the moment, they aren’t sure how.

Gadhafi was the last of a generation of Arab leaders such as Gamal Abdel-Nasser of Egypt, Hafez Assad of Syria and Saddam Hussein of Iraq who emerged from poverty, rising to the pinnacle of power either through the ranks of the military or the disciplined, conspiratorial world of underground political organizations.

None of the latter crop of Arab autocrats, including Assad’s son Bashar, Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh and even Egypt’s colorless, ousted president Hosni Mubarak, could rival them in their heyday in terms of charisma, flair, stature and power.

Their model was Nasser, the towering champion of Arab unity who ousted Western-backed King Farouk in 1952 and inspired Arab peoples with fiery speeches broadcast by Egyptian radio from Iraq to Mauritania.

But Nasser’s dreams of Arab unity and social revival crumbled in defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, when Israel seized East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights from Syria and the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. Nasser died three years later, and the fellow strongmen left behind led their countries instead into a political swamp of corruption, cronyism and dictatorship now challenged by the Arab Spring.

The hallmark of the Arab strongman was unquestioned power, the use of state media to promote a larger than life image and a ruthless security network that stifled even a whiff of dissent. That worked in an age before the Internet and global satellite television which opened the eyes of the strongman’s followers to a world without secret police and economic systems run by the leader’s family and cronies.

The Arab political transformation is far from complete. Autocratic rulers are facing challenges from their own people in Yemen and Syria. Bahrain’s Shiite majority is pressing the Sunni monarchy for reform. Rulers in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are maneuvering to contain the Arab Spring.

Iraq is struggling to build a democracy eight years after American-led arms brought down Saddam’s rule.

With Gadhafi’s passing, however, a milestone has been passed. The future belongs to a different style of ruler, whoever it may be.

It may be difficult to imagine that the Gadhafi of his final years — with his flamboyant robes, dark and curly wigs and sagging, surgically altered face — was a trim, handsome, vigorous 27-year-old when he came to power as a strong and vigorous leader. Over the years he had become a caricature figure associated with grandiose dreams such as a “United States of Africa” or seizing all of Israel and sending Jews “back to Europe.”

Even when he was younger, eccentricity was the mark of Gadhafi’s public persona.

A generation ago, President Ronald Reagan described him as the “mad dog of the Middle East,” and his fellow Arab leaders such as Egyptian President Anwar Sadat considered him a dangerous megalomaniac.

Journalists covered his speeches and international visits primarily for amusement.

Images of Gadhafi’s final moments — toupee gone, terrified, confused, powerless in the grip of men who may be about to kill him — make the ousted tyrant appear more pitiable than powerful.

All that was far from his image when he and his comrades toppled a Western-backed monarchy in 1969 in a bloodless coup, promising to transform his poor, backwater country into a modern state.

Promising a new era for his people, Gadhafi closed a U.S. air base, forced international oil companies to hand over most of their profits from Libyan oil to the Libyan state and shook the world with his unabashed support for terrorist or insurgent movements in Northern Ireland, Palestine, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Oil gave him a reach beyond his sparsely populated desert land and enabled him to pursue his revolutionary dreams.

In the 1980s, the lobbies of Tripoli’s few hotels were populated by representatives of what the West considered the most dangerous groups on Earth — stiff North Koreans wearing lapel buttons of their leader Kim Il-Sung, Palestinian extremists huddled over cups of sweet tea, European anarchists and revolutionaries — all come to town to seek the oil-fueled largesse of the “Brother Leader.”

While insisting that Libya was the freest nation on Earth, Gadhafi ruthlessly suppressed dissent, dispatched agents to assassinate his opponents abroad and drove thousands of Libyans into exile.

It all came crashing down in the final battle in his hometown of Sirte. A man who came to power as an Arab revolutionary and self-styled leader of the oppressed and downtrodden died a brutal and inglorious death at the hands of the people he purported to lead.

___

Eds: Robert H. Reid is Middle East regional editor for The Associated Press and has reported from the Middle East since 1978.

Michaele Salahi, Twitterhttp://www.eonline.com/news/michaele_salahi_neal_schon_our_affair/264868

Michaele Salahi is esctatic about her Housewife turned  groupie status and claims her love affair with Journey guitarist  Neal Schon is true love.

The scandalous twosome are speaking out about their relationship and how they  came to be a couple 10 days after the rocker invited the Real Housewives of  D.C. star and her husband, Tareq Salahi, to his concert in  Virginia. After his wife disappeared with Neal, Tareq feared she was kidnapped and begged the public to be on the lookout for  his missus.

But kidnapped she was not—instead she had run off with Neal in what he’s  calling a “fairy tale”…

“It’s like a fairy tale. It is, it really is,” Neal told the Daily Beast about finally being out in the open  with Michaele. “I’m very happy, very happy after waiting for her for 15 years.  Now I want to get beyond all this media hype thatt Tareq has put out there. It’s  really quite embarrassing.”

The Bravo reality star revealed that back in the late ’90s, she had been  dating both Tareq and Neal but chose Tareq because she’d been diagnosed with  multiple sclerosis and believed she would receive better care from him.

“I chose Tareq over Neal because I thought life would be less stressful  living on a vineyard in Virginia,” she said. “Life on the road with a rock  band…well, I thought I might not have been able to keep up.”

The new pair admit that before that night at the concert, they had been texting each other on a secret  phone a friend had provided Michaele with so she could communicate with the  outside world without Tareq knowing.

Michaele knew she was going to leave her husband after Neal asked her if they  were going to keep up the back and forth forever.

“I began to see he really loved me. I had to begin to feel it completely in  my soul, ” she said.

The night of the concert, Neal says Michaele told him she loved  him.

MORE: Why did Michaele need rehab?

“What happened was…she takes off her wedding ring…right in front of  Tareq. Takes it off,” Neal explains. “And then she proceeds to come into my  dressing room where I’m sitting down. I have tennis shoes on and she’s like,  nine feet tall over me. And she looks down at me like she’s standing on stilts  and says ‘I love you, and that’s never gonna change.’ And when that  happened I said, ‘Get over here! This has taken 15 years!”

That very night, Neal tried to get her on his tour bus with him, but she went  home with Tareq instead in order to avoid humiliating him.

But just over a week later, she was ready to bail.

“I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but I realized I was hurting myself,” she said  of her decision to finally leave her husband, whom she called “controlling.”

Neal added that Tareq had ordered Michaele around, telling her when she could  and couldn’t leave the house and taking away her money, phone and car so she  couldn’t do much on her own.

And when she finally did leave, she left all her possessions behind.

“I was going crazy,” she said. “Because when you want to be with someone that  bad, you start to go crazy. He [Neal] sent someone to come get me. I got on a  plane by myself and I just went. I just walked away from everything.”

It remains to be seen whether the new couple will last—Neal also left his  partner, former Playboy Playmate Ava Fabian, who he  reportedly married in Paris two months ago, although it’s unclear if the  ceremony was legally binding.

Tareq has already filed for divorce from Michaele. Part two of our exclusive  interview with the spurned husband airs on E! News tonight at 7:00.

 

 

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Party+crasher+Michaele+Salahi+kidnapped+runs+with+Journey+guitarist/5408409/story.html

LOS ANGELES – Few people roll like Michaele Salahi and her husband, Tareq,  late of “The Real Housewives of D.C.” and originally infamous for allegedly  crashing a state dinner at the White House.

 

Depending on when a person checked in on the Salahi drama Wednesday, Michaele  was either kidnapped, according to Tareq, or just fine, according to police.  Then there was the part about Michaele running off with a guy from a rock  band.

 

But more about Journey guitarist Neal Schon later. Seriously. After the  police stuff, and before the Montel Williams stuff.

 

Tareq reported Michaele missing very late Tuesday night, telling law  enforcement that his wife had been gone for six hours, the North Virginia Daily  reported. She’d called him from a cellphone with an Oregon number, he said, to  tell him she was fine and on her way to her mom’s house.

 

He said that after talking to his mother-in-law, who according to TMZ told  Tareq she didn’t know what was up with Michaele, he feared a kidnapping. The  former house-husband of D.C. told NBC that his wife’s “cryptic” behavior during  the call made him think she was trying to convey a message to him in code, the  way they’d play-acted in the past in case either one were, you know,  kidnapped.

 

“I swear to God,” Tareq told NBC, denying that the kidnap report was a  publicity stunt. “I’m missing my wife,” he sobbed, breaking down in tears.

 

The Sheriff’s Department in Virginia’s Warren County then issued a statement  Wednesday afternoon saying essentially not to worry – officials had been in  touch with Michaele and were confident nobody had been kidnapped.

 

“She seemed calm, was engaged in conversation, and assured the deputy that  she had left the residence with a good friend and was where she wanted to be,”  authorities said. She allegedly didn’t want her husband knowing where she  was.

 

Tareq Salahi told NBC a different story. “I think she’s being forced by,  whatever this Oregon phone number is, she’s being forced to say she’s OK,” he  said. “She’s being forced to to say this to the local authorities.” The couple  had frequently dealt with stalkers and death threats, according to Tareq.

 

But the best was yet to come.

 

It seems Michaele had actually run off with Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon  in Tennessee on Wednesday, according to TMZ, which got confirmation from the  band’s rep that “nobody kidnapped her and they are in Memphis together.” Mrs.  Salahi and Schon had even hung out together in the past, including with Mr.  Salahi at a party at the Salahi family’s winery. It was what the missus called  an “intimate and passionate relationship,” the celeb website said.

 

Of possible interest to those who graduated high school in the early 1980s:  Foreigner and Night Ranger were opening for Journey on Wednesday night in  Memphis.

 

The drama around the non-kidnapping came just ahead of Sunday’s scheduled  auction of Oasis Vineyards assets _ an auction related the winery’s 2008  bankruptcy filing. Though the Hume, Va., winery is not on the block, bids can be  placed Sunday in person or online on items including winemaking supplies,  kitchen and catering equipment, trucks and tractors, more than 200 cases of  various wines, and about 5,000 bottles of unfinished sparkling wine currently en  tirage. Oasis was founded in 1977 by Tareq’s parents.

 

Also on the Salahis’ dance card: A Sept. 24 event at the Oasis that’s being  billed as a charity fundraiser, with “a portion of proceeds going to benefit the  National Multiple Sclerosis Society.”

 

At least that’s how it’s now being billed, after Montel Williams’ legal team  sent a cease-and-desist letter Aug. 25 demanding that the TV personality’s name  and the name of his foundation be removed from any materials associated with the  $150-a-ticket event.

 

“I have never met, never spoken with, never been involved with anything to do  with these people,” Williams told the Los Angeles Times shortly after learning  someone had been marketing “A Hollywood Oasis – When Hollywood Glamour Meets the  Capital Region” with an assertion that he would be attending, and that a portion  of proceeds would go to the Montel Williams MS Foundation.

 

“It appears that the Salahis, whose bizarre behavior has been widely  reported, are attempting to piggyback off of Montel’s record of advocacy on  behalf of MS sufferers worldwide to advance the apparent re-opening of their  failed winery,” rep Jonathan Franks said in an Aug. 26 statement on Montel’s  behalf, adding that Team Montel had that day been contacted by multiple  governmental agencies investigating the group responsible for the event.  Williams’ people intended to co-operate with authorities, Franks said.

 

The Salahis protested via TMZ that they were not responsible for the actions  of those who held events at their winery, placing blame instead on D.C.’s Most  Fabulous Magazine, which was affiliated with the event and had posted the  invites online. The mag is run by one Howard N. Cromwell, who has previously  represented the Salahis, serving as the PR contact when Michaele released her  dance track, “Bump It.” In May, she was down to serve as head judge for a  Memorial Day bikini contest publicized by Cromwell.

 

Though Cromwell’s DRAWOH LLEWMORC Omnimedia Inc. (DLO) had written to  Williams’ foundation Aug. 10 stating that the foundation would be the  unsolicited beneficiary of the magazine’s third-anniversary celebration, the  former talk show host did not reply or accept an invitation for any  representative of the foundation to attend.

 

“The use of Mr. Williams’ name without his permission is unacceptable, and  Mr. Williams’ attorneys intend to pursue all available legal remedies in this  matter,” Franks said.

 

In a letter to Williams’ attorney dated Aug. 26, Cromwell’s attorney said  Williams’ team was mistaken, and no materials had represented Montel as  confirmed to attend. “The charity event is . . . not a Salahi or Oasis Winery  event,” the letter stated. “Any misunderstanding or miscommunication is  therefore DLO’s responsibility, and not that of Mr. and Mrs. Salai or Oasis  Winery.” The letter also said Williams’ name had been removed from any DLO  websites.

 

Williams’ legal team had sent its cease-and-desist letter to the Salahis on  Aug. 25. On Aug. 30, Cromwell posted a link on his Facebook page to materials  again stating Montel was expected at the event. That offer of an “international  marketing & branding opportunity” had also been revised to reinforce  Michaele’s status as a person “who has MS.”

 

Michaele Salahi revealed her alleged MS diagnosis on “Fox & Friends” in  September, saying she’d left the White House state dinner not due to her and  Tareq’s lack of a seating assignment, but rather because she was suffering  MS-related fatigue. The two were spotted, however, hanging out at a hotel bar  nearby for hours after leaving the state dinner, ultimately allegedly skipping  out on the tab. Michaele has not publicly discussed any treatment she might be  undergoing for MS, which she said she’d been dealing with for 17 years.

 

Williams called it “egregiously offensive” that his name might have been used  to mislead people into buying tickets to an event he was not affiliated with.  “They might not have crossed the line enough” in this case, he said, but  “they’ve figured out how to skirt the law. I hope the next time they get  caught.”

 

Williams said he suspected his name came up as a result of success he’d had  recently on the D.C.-area charity circuit raising money for veterans causes.  Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, the veteran of both the  Navy and the Marines also has worked on behalf of MS research.

 

Various state regulatory and law enforcement agencies in Virginia have been  looking into the Salahis’ activities, a source familiar with the inquiries told  the Los Angeels Times.

 

Incidentally, flattering quotes on Michaele Salahi’s website attributed to  the Times were in fact taken from an article written by Jocelyn Noveck of the  Associated Press.

 

Said Williams: “These people need to go away.”

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Party+crasher+Michaele+Salahi+kidnapped+runs+with+Journey+guitarist/5408409/story.html#ixzz1Y3Hy43kO

 

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/0815/Case-against-Egypt-s-Mubarak-is-shoddy-say-some-lawyers

Cairo

Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarakappeared in court Monday as advocates for a guilty verdict complained that the state’s case against him was shoddy.

Mr. Mubarak is charged with corruption and with ordering the killing of hundreds who died in the uprising that swept him from power on Feb. 11 this year. Without a thorough and fair investigation of those charges, some worry that a Mubarak conviction would be hollow – and undermine the people’s faith in the justice system at a delicate time of transition.

Lawyer Gamal Eid said that the state should conduct a new investigation and that the prosecutor general should resign.

“This is a very important step in the path of regaining or restoring the trust in the Egyptian judiciary,” says Mr. Eid, who is representing families of 16 of the more than 800 people killed in the uprising.

Trial resumes Sept. 5; no more TV coverage

Nearly 100 lawyers swarmed near the front of the courtroom hours before the hearing began Monday, their shouting matches at times turning to pushing and shoving as they argued over their demands. Judge Ahmed Refaat sharply rebuked them when he took the stand, refusing to continue until they were seated and quiet.

Lawyers representing the family members of some of those who died were pleased that Judge Refaat ruled that Mubarak’s case would be rejoined with that of Egypt’s former Interior Minister, Habib El Adly, who is also charged with killing protesters. The trial will resume Sept. 5.

But Mr. Eid says that the police and prosecution have done a poor job of investigating the crimes and putting together a case, thereby jeopardizing justice. He said that the state prosecutor, who was a part of Mubarak’s regime, must be removed, and the judge should appoint a committee to redo the whole investigation from scratch, he said.

Lawyers have also asked to separate the charges of corruption and the killing of protesters into two separate cases, though the judge has not done so. Mubarak, Mr. El Adly, and El Adly’s deputies are charged with ordering the killing of protesters, while the former president, his two sons, and fugitive businessman Hussein Salem are also charged with corruption.

Refaat also ruled that the live broadcast of the hearings would be banned until the verdict is issued, and his decision was met with applause in the courtroom. While protesters had demanded that the trial be broadcast as proof of transparency, some lawyers now hope that taking away the cameras will tame the chaotic behavior of scores of lawyers representing victims’ families, as some of them have seemed to relish seizing the limelight on national television.

Courtroom calls for Mubarak’s execution

As in his first appearance, Mubarak was wheeled into the cage used for defendants in Egyptian courts Monday on a hospital bed, this time for his second appearance, he arrived with an IV. His two sons, Gamal and Alaa, again stood in front of him, partially blocking him from the cameras.

The stands were mostly filled with journalists, lawyers, and state security conscripts, with many empty seats and few family members of victims allowed to attend. At one point, a woman wearing a brooch with a picture of Mubarak burst into a tirade directed at journalists who were commenting on the color of the former president’s shoes, accusing them of humiliating Mubarak. Those around her were drawn into a shouting match.

As the hearing ended, several family members of victims and lawyers jumped up onto the benches, gesturing toward the cage and shouting “execution!”

 

 

 

 

Are These the New Faces of Classic Rock?

In recent weeks, VH1 has launched a handful of new episodes of Behind the Music, keying in on artists like Missy Elliott and Ice Cube. The show was a music mainstay in the late ‘90s and the first half of the 21st century with documentaries of the music world’s legends. It became a running cliché that the average episode delved into a band’s humble beginnings in crappy clubs, its sudden rise to fame, the inevitable fall from grace thanks to a member’s drug overdose, and the band’s hopeful comeback.

In 2011, some of yesteryear’s stories could add a new chapter. Pick an established classic rock band which celebrated its heyday in the ‘70s and early ‘80s. The group stubbornly refuses to hang it up, even in the face of less-than-stellar reunions in recent years. The lead singer, to whom the band attributed the lion’s share of its success, has been felled by some strange disease rendering him unable to perform on stage. It’s best if it is an obscure ailment that makes the general public scratch its collective head and say, “never heard of that before. Is that for real?”  The band unceremoniously dumps said vocalist. To rub salt in his wounds, they don’t turn to a well-respected veteran (a la Queen tapping Paul Rodgers to sub for Freddie Mercury), but scour YouTube videos for a fresh-faced frontman who has belted out the group’s catalog for a decade in a cover band.

While this may sound like a sequel to the film This Is Spinal Tap, this is no mockumentary. Case in point: Journey. The band got its start in the mid-‘70s as an offshoot of Santana. After three albums and little fanfare, it tapped Steve Perry to helm the mic. His arrival signaled a more pop-oriented sound which peaked with Escape in 1981, an album which secured three top ten US hits. Two more successful albums followed before the band hung it up, seemingly for good.

The group inevitably reunited in 1996. Then the drama began. A hiking injury in the summer of 1997 left Perry needing hip replacement surgery. The intended tour was canceled, but guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain were determined to keep the dream alive (or the paychecks flowing, depending on one’s perspective).

Journey didn’t immediately go the lead-singer-from-cover-band route. After two studio albums, an EP, and two different lead singers, Journey hired Arnel Pineda in 2007. He was the leader for the Zoo when Schon saw him singing covers of Journey songs on YouTube. While haters would love to snicker at the assumed failure of such a proposition, Journey had the last laugh. Its next album, Revelation, went top five and platinum in the US. This was a far cry from the number 170 peak of the Generations album in 2005.

Let’s explore another recent case. Progressive rock band Yes just released Fly from Here, its first studio album in a decade. Since the group’s 1968 inception, nearly 20 musicians can boast I-was-once-in-Yes membership cards. The only constant has been bassist Chris Squire. However, no member has been more associated with the group than Jon Anderson, who sang on all their albums but Drama (1980).

In 2008, Yes reassembled for a summer tour. Anderson had to bow out when he was hospitalized with acute respiratory failure. Once again, the lure of the tour (or the payday it offered) led the remainder of the band to say, “Screw it, the show must go on.” It brought in Benoît David, a Canadian singer with Close to the Edge, which was—say it with me—a Yes cover band. How did Yes stumble across this guy? If you have to ask, you haven’t been paying attention: Squire found him on YouTube.

Perhaps you’re curious to see if Arnel can convince you to “Don’t Stop Believin’”. You can catch Journey out on the road this summer. Interestingly enough, the band is touring with Foreigner. Fans will remember Foreigner as the group with Lou Gramm belting out power ballads like “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “I Want to Know What Love Is” as well as rockers like “Hot Blooded” and “Urgent”. By the early ‘90s, Gramm left the group. Mick Jones, the band’s only constant, kept things plodding along and Gramm attempted a return by decade’s end, but—here we go again—medical problems affected his singing voice. By 2002, Gramm and Jones parted for good so this summer’s “Juke Box Hero” will be Kelly Hansen. Who? Exactly.

If you want to take in a Yes show this summer, you’ll also find Styx on the bill. This story is getting repetitive. Styx also found its voice in the ‘70s and early ‘80s when founder Dennis DeYoung gave the group its biggest hits via “Babe”, “Come Sail Away”, and “Mr. Roboto”. The group was defunct by the mid ‘80s and muddled through a couple reunions in the ‘90s. Personality conflicts and differences over musical direction escalated. DeYoung contracted a viral illness which left him light-sensitive. The rest of the group opted to continue without him, bringing Lawrence Gowan into the fold to try to convince audiences that these were still “The Best of Times”.

There are two schools of thought on how aging bands should approach their golden years. They can play until they drop, unashamed that the few hairs they have left are gray and that they can no longer strut across a stage without a walker. The more dignified approach would be to accept age and gracefully hang it up, sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch and reminiscing about the other kind of rocking days.

My mocking tone would suggest that I fall into the latter camp. Surprisingly, I’m all for groups beating a dead horse. I say rock until you can’t walk! Sing until your oxygen tank sputters! Wail on that guitar until the arthritis renders your fingers useless stubs.

Here’s the thing: rock ‘n’ rollers don’t just clock out one day and take home a retirement watch. They long to play. Sure, seeing Mick Jagger prance across a stage at 70 may crank up the ick-factor, but here’s the rub: no one has to see the Rolling Stones 40 years past their prime. No one has to watch a Super Bowl half-time show starring half the Who and trying not to think of the irony of Pete Townshend’s most famous lyric ever: “I hope I die before I get old.”

No one is twisting fans’ arms. The audience will always dictate the market. As long as people still buy Journey records or see Yes in concert—even if the numbers are far less than the glory days—then I say, “Play on.” Congrats to Arnel, Benoît, Kelly, and Lawrence. Here’s hoping you can lead your bands into the next generation—when you’ll be old enough to catch a disease of your own and get replaced by the next generation’s cover band sensation found on YouTube.

Journey guitarist and founder Neal Schon is in a good place. “We’re lucky in the sense that we have great songwriters within the band,” he says on the phone from a tour stop in Europe. The rocker is talking to Noisecreep about ‘Eclipse,’ Journey’s recently released 14th album.

“There’s a million outside songwriters that we could work with, but I think that kind of defeats the purpose of being in a band. A lot of people are saying that they love ‘Eclipse,’ but that it doesn’t sound like a typical Journey record. I don’t really agree with that. If you listen to ‘Frontiers’ [1983] and this new album back to back, they complement each other,” says Schon.

‘Eclipse’ is the second Journey album to feature Filipino vocalist Arnel Pineda. Schon discovered the singer on YouTube in 2007, when a fan uploaded a live performances of The Zoo, Pineda’s ’80s cover band. “I love what he’s done in this band and apparently a lot of other people do too because we’re doing great business right now. The tickets are selling great in the States, like they always have, but it’s happening all over the worldNoisecreep asked the guitar great if he felt comfortable with the AOR [album-oriented rock] tag Journey has been labeled with throughout their near 40-year career. “I don’t have a problem with it,” he says. “Back in the day, AOR was the cool place to be. We broke on AOR radio stations way before the pop ones accepted us. When it comes down to it, AOR means classic rock. I love it when people call us classic rock.”

In the last few years, Journey have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts. Whether it’s their anthem ‘Don’t Stop Believin” being all over television and radio, or their sellout tours with fellow vets Def Leppard, the California rockers are riding high on a wave of success not seen since their early ’80s glory days. But how does Schon perceive the current state of the music business?

“The music industry has changed so radically throughout the world,” he says. “I feel bad for newer, unknown artists who are trying to come out with music and get noticed. It’s almost impossible right now. We’re in a different situation because we have a long history of hit songs and albums under our belt. We’re the lucky ones, the survivors. But yeah, it’s brutal out there for newer artists.”

Follow Noisecreep on Twitter | Like Noisecreep on Facebook,” says Schon.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/10/us-journey-idUSTRE7596O920110610

By Gary Graff

Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:04pm EDT

DETROIT (Billboard) – A clear idea for Journey’s new album, “Eclipse,” led guitarist and co-founder Neal Schon to turn “downright belligerent” in the studio with his bandmates and co-producer Kevin Shirley.

“I went in with not only confidence but I was … hard-headed about making sure I made the record that I wanted to make,” Schon tells Billboard.com about making “Eclipse,” which debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200.

“We fought. Kevin and I went around and around, and I went at it with Jon until we got our heads together, and then things finally took their course. But I’m really glad that I just stuck with it, and I felt very strongly about the type of record I felt we should make.

“This was kind of a vision of my record, and I’m grateful to the band for finally letting me do one,” he added.

“Eclipse,” Journey’s second studio album with Filipino lead singer Arnel Pineda, is marked by lengthy, hard-rocking songs that hark back to the band’s first three albums. Schon calls it “a more stadium rock record, like our 2011 version of (1983’s) ‘Frontiers,’ maybe, a bit more progressive and not afraid to go in some areas we’ve never been.”

Nine of the 12 songs on the Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club exclusive set weigh in at more than five minutes, and there’s markedly more instrumental soloing than on 2008’s “Revelation” and most other Journey albums.

“We have the greatest hits, and all of the newer records that we’ve made, we’ve written songs that sound like our greatest hits,” Schon says. “I felt like there were a lot of grooves that were missing in our set, like funky rock grooves and stuff like that, and I just felt like writing for what I wanted to play on stage and what I felt would work. I felt like we didn’t have enough rocky stuff in our set, so knowing that … brought me to the conclusion that we needed to make our record like we did.”

Schon says Cain and Pineda also “went with” him on the album’s lyrical content. “It’s about love, faith, hope and spiritualism,” he explains. “A lot of our other songs are about hope, but this one is just a bit more mystical, I feel. It’s got a late ’60s/early ’70s kind of mystical vibe, which is one of my favorite eras, so I love it.”

“Eclipse” comes out the same year that Journey’s best-selling album, 1981’s “Escape” — and its hit “Don’t Stop Believin'” — turns 30. But while Schon calls it “my favorite record that we’ve ever done,” he says the group would rather be making new music than necessarily commemorating its past. “I’ve seen what’s been going on with some concerts and with some bands playing the whole record,” he says.

“Surely we could do that at some point, but it’s not happening this year or next year because we’re here to support our new record — and play bits and pieces from ‘Escape’ and all of the other records, too. It’s not just about the one.”

Journey is currently on tour in Europe and returns to North America for a summer run that kicks off July 15 at the Rock USA festival in Oshkosh, Wisc., before beginning a run with Foreigner on July 21 in Sandy, Utah.

Schon, meanwhile, has also recorded a pair of solo albums — an instrumental set with former Journey drummer Steve Smith and keyboardist Jan Hammer, and a power trio set on which he shares lead vocals with current Journey drummer Dean Castronovo and bassist Marco Mendoza. Titles and release dates are pending for both.

(Editing by Chris Michaud)

 

%d bloggers like this: