Journey guitarist Neal Schon both celebrated Prince’s birthday last week, as well as gave fans a taste of his forthcoming solo album with the release of his cover of the classic “Purple Rain”.
Schon will be releasing the album, entitled “Universe”, this fall. Check out his cover of “Purple Rain” here. In the post, Neal shared a memory from Rick Barron, who wrote “Prince, pancakes, and Journey guitar riffs at 4 am…
“We’ve listened to Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel and I notice a worn Journey Escape record in his collection. Surprised I turned to him and said ‘Never took you for a Journey fan’.
“He gave me that doe
–eyed look that always made me uncomfortable and said: ‘Neal Schon is one of my favorite guitarists on the planet, he is a genius.'”
Neal’s connection to the song actually goes deeper, with him and Journey keyboardist revealing during a 2016 interview that Prince asked for their blessing before releasing the song.
Cain told Billboard that Prince told him, “‘I want to play something for you, and I want you to check it out. The chord changes are close to ‘Faithfully’, and I don’t want you to sue me.'” He then shared his response, “I thought it was an amazing tune, and I told him, ‘Man, I’m just super-flattered that you even called. It shows you’re that classy of a guy. Good luck with the song. I know it’s gonna be a hit.’ And it was ‘Purple Rain’.”
Schon added, “Prince felt, I guess, it was obvious enough that he was worried we were going to sue him. I think he called our office asking about it and we all talked about it and everybody said, ‘Nah, it’s the highest form of flattery. Let it go.'”