Journey recently wrapped a successful arena tour with Toto and will release their first album in more than a decade this summer. An important milestone is looming, however, and Neal Schon would like to include Carlos Santana in his celebration plans.
The San Francisco group turns 50 in 2023 and Schon says they’ll reunite with old friends for a lengthy run honoring the achievement, beginning with additional dates with Toto.
“We’re going to celebrate the 50th anniversary and then celebrate it again in ‘24,” Schon tells 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. Deen [Castronovo] has a good two decades and Arnel [Pineda] is now 15 years, the longest run of any singer [with Journey].
“We already have about 40 shows booked with Toto,” Schon continues. “We’re going to go and play all of the secondary markets that we missed this year in the same arenas. We’ll play some of the main cities that we missed this year.”
From there, Journey and Toto are planning to head to Europe and possibly South America to play a mix of arena and stadium gigs. “We’ll flip-flop and open for them over there,” Schon adds, detailing his discussions with Toto’s Steve Lukather regarding the overseas dates. Schon says he’s even looking at a bill that would add Santana into the mix. “I know from experience playing with [Carlos] as a kid how big Santana is all over the world,” he says. “I saw an old poster that came up on Facebook from Bill Graham’s Day on the Green. It went, Journey, Santana, Toto. I thought, ‘Yeah, I see 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 definitely wants to do some stuff. I said, what about the latter part of ‘23? We could possibly go from big arenas in Europe to stadiums and finish out ‘23 in the stadiums, in South America and all of that.”
Fans hoping Santana and Schon could eventually reunite on an album to follow up 2016’s Santana IV will be happy to hear it’s been discussed. “We talk and text every day. We’re talking about that,” Schon confirms, noting that the touring idea is the current priority.
A reunion with other former tourmates might also happen down the road in 2024. “We’re already talking about [going back out] with Def Leppard and that’s looking pretty solid that we’ll go into stadiums in ‘24. So from here out, I’m going to be celebrating 50 years plus,” Schon says with a laugh.
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