Roll and Roll Hall of Fame keyboardist/singer Gregg Rolie recently told CBS Local that he’d be amicable to doing a Brian Wilson/Beach Boys-style reunion with Santana, where he’d rejoin the band for an album and/or tour. But what about Journey, the band he and guitarist Neal Schon formed after they left Santana?
“I would do that! It’s just a matter of doing it, and the timing,” he tells CBS Local.
Rolie has kept good relations with Schon (the only founding member who has been on every Journey album). In fact, a few years ago when Journey played Austin, Texas, Rolie joined them onstage for one of the classics from his era with the band, “Just The Same Way” (from 1979’s Evolution.)
Rolie says that he had a blast that night, and that he was surprised by the audience reaction, as he had been out of the band for nearly three decades by that point. “I was kind of shocked. A friend of mine was in the audience, and a guy right behind him said, ‘that’s Greg f***ing Rolie!’ I didn’t know that was my middle name!”
When Journey started, it was a four-piece band with Rolie handling all the lead vocals. Singer Steve Perry joined the band in 1978 after the band had released three albums. After Perry became the lead singer, Rolie concentrated more on keyboards and backing vocals. So what does he think of Perry’s replacement, Arnel Pineda, the Pilipino singer who has been with the band since 2007? (For those who don’t know, Neal Schon saw videos of Pineda singing Journey covers, reached out to him, and offered him the opportunity to audition for the group).
“Arnel’s great, those guys really changed his life. That was a cool thing, what a great story.” But as far as joining the current incarnation of the band for a reunion? “The ball’s in their court. But it’s not on the front burner right now.”
For the moment, Rolie is hoping to work with Ringo Starr again (he played in Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band this summer), and is working on his next album.
“I’ve recorded six songs,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get it out by early next year.”
— Brian Ives, CBS Local