Journey recently wrapped up a successful arena tour with Toto and will be releasing their first album in over a decade this summer. A milestone is looming, however, and Neal Schon would like to include Carlos Santana in his celebration plans.
The San Francisco band turns 50 in 2023 and Schon says they’ll reunite with old friends for a long run honoring the achievement, starting with additional dates with Toto.
“We’re going to celebrate the 50th anniversary and then celebrate it again in 24,” Schon told UCR. “It’s my 50th year with Journey and I’m the only original member left there. You know Jon [Jonathan Cain] is 40 years with us. Dean [Castronovo] has two good decades and Arnel [Pineda] is now 15 years, the longest streak of any singer [with Journey].
“We already have about 40 shows booked with Toto,” Schon continues. “We are going to play all the secondary markets that we missed this year in the same arenas. We’ll be playing some of the major cities we’ve missed this year.
From there, Journey and Toto plan to travel to Europe and possibly South America to play a mix of arena and stadium gigs. “We’re going to turn around and open for them there,” Schon adds, detailing his discussions with Toto’s Steve Lukather regarding overseas dates. Schon says he’s even considering a bill that would add Santana to the mix. “I know from experience that I have played with [Carlos] when I was a kid, how big Santana is in the whole world,” he says. “I saw an old poster that popped up on Facebook about Bill Graham’s Day on the Green. It was Journey, Santana, Toto. I thought, ‘Yeah, I’m seeing that again.'”
Santana was immediately receptive to the idea. “I talked to Carlos and I talked to his manager about it the other day,” Schon reveals. “He says Carlos really wants to do stuff. I said, what about the last part of ’23? We could eventually go from big arenas in Europe to stadiums and finish 23 in stadiums, in South America and all that.
Fans are hoping Santana and Schon could eventually reunite on a follow-up album to 2016’s Santana IV will be happy to hear that this has been discussed. “We talk and text every day. We talk about it,” Schon confirms, noting that the tour idea is the current priority.
A reunion with other former tour mates could also take place in 2024. “We are already talking about [going back out] with Def Leppard and it looks pretty solid that we’ll be going to stadiums in 24. So from now on I’m going to be celebrating over 50 years,” Schon says with a laugh.
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