Journey’s Neal Schon Prepares To Share Some Wisdom At ‘How To Be A Reality Star’ Event
The romance between Journey guitarist Neal Schon and ‘The Real Housewives of D.C.’ reality star Michaele Salahi barreled its way into news headlines last summer. On June 23, the pair will appear together at the ‘How to be a Reality Star‘ event in El Paso, Texas.
We spoke with Schon about how he fits into this strange and ever-more culturally dominant new world, as well as how he and Salahi are moving forward and working on projects together, including the steamy video for ‘Resonate,’ the latest single from Journey’s ‘Eclipse‘ album:
Your girlfriend Michaele Salahi is part of this event and now you’re part of it too. What made you want to get involved with this?
[Event host] Rob Shuter has become a really good friend. He was a friend of Michaele and I really like him. I think he’s got a lot of cool things going on, and something in my gut instinct told me that this is a good thing to do for the future — with any endeavors that we do with Rob or anything out there. I think that his idea is kind of a cool idea, and I think that his show will inevitably become huge.
Your past experience is perhaps different than a lot of the reality show people, but I would argue that as a celebrity, you certainly live and breathe in that same fishbowl. What kind of things do you want to impart to these reality hopefuls?
I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to answer questions at this thing and really, I have no idea. I think the only thing that happened to me when I became famous in this reality world is that I’ve got an amazing looking woman on my arm. She fled with me and then all of the sudden it was like a tornado hurricane! [Laughs]
Before this, I really was never in the media. We would do a little bit of media here and there when we released a record. Like, I talk to you and other writers and we get a little bit of press here and there. Now it’s just kind of crazy, but there is a great side to it. I think you can use it to your advantage and that’s what we’re doing right now — we’re figuring out how to turn everything around, now that we’ve got everybody’s attention.
And there’s a lot of cool things going on, some of which I can’t really talk about — I’m sworn to secrecy. What I’m working on is not a reality show, but I’m definitely working on something that I think is going to revolutionize the music industry and how all young artists come to the forefront.
You’ve always done a lot of creative thinking with Journey, with the band putting together their own production company and pioneering lighting and video technology that just didn’t exist at the time. So I think Journey’s always been at the forefront of doing things that are out of this world.
Well you know, that was my old manager [former Journey manager Herbie Herbert] who had the foresight to do that. I guess I’ve just grown into those shoes and it’s me that’s thinking of all of the ideas. I’m coming up with a lot of cool stuff that I’m really very inspired by.
Some celebrities lament certain aspects of being a celebrity, the lack of privacy and that kind of thing. Aside from last year’s events, have you generally been able to do your own thing?
Pretty much. It was a crazy time for me and us. I got a grip on it and I’ve learned to deal with it. Everybody’s just been really supportive. All my friends and even people that I don’t know have been completely tremendously supportive. You know, there was a lot of crazy stuff going on that I’ve never dealt with in my life before. The only thing you can do is keep your head up and know that you’re not doing anything as malicious as they try to make it sound. It’s rock and roll, man!
What rock star doesn’t send his private parts around at one point of his life? It’s something that I’ve done for years and it was like no big deal, it was like signing a letter. Did I send it to her husband, her ex? No, I didn’t send it to him. I’m just moving on. Like I said, there’s a lot of good stuff that has come out of this. You have your little tiny group of haters, which is about four or five people and I think we know who they all are, you know? [Laughs]
They have all these various names that they go under, each person probably has about five different names. I swear, they need to all get jobs, because I know who they all are — it’s really funny. If an article comes out on Michaele and I, they’re the first ones to hit the comments and write all this funky stuff, but we know who they are… so I don’t even bother reading it anymore.
(You can) have a PR person that you’re hiring 24/7 to hit every comment place that’s going to have a story about you the second that it comes out and fill the page before they get to hit it, but that’s so silly, to chase something like that. We know what’s going on and we know how the mass majority feels about everything and so we’re doing well, we’re doing great. I’m in really great space, we’re in a really great space and I’m just getting back into playing now.