Neal Schon on Journey’s greatest tracks: “After Don‘t Stop was done I turned to everybody in the room and said, ‘I think this song is going to be massive’”

Neal Schon
(Image credit: Jason Kempin / Getty)

Neal Schon has written a few hits in his time. He knows how to write a song that connects, across generational divides, across continents. With Journey’s new album, Freedom, lighting up the airwaves with the San Francisco rock legends’ irresistible melodies, Guitar World sat down with Schon to talk about some of the greatest tracks in the catalog.

Here, he shares some of the stories – and the electric guitars – behind classic hits Wheel in the Sky and Don’t Stop Believin’, but also those behind four of the tracks from Freedom – an album that reminds us that Schon’s ear for a hook remains undiminished after all these years. It is just something that’s in him. 

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Joshua M. Miller

Josh is a freelance journalist who has spent the past dozen or so years interviewing musicians for a variety of publications, including Guitar World,, SPIN, Chicago Sun-Times, MTV News, Rolling Stone and American Songwriter. He credits his father for getting him into music. He's been interested in discovering new bands ever since his father gave him a list of artists to look into. A favorite story his father told him is when he skipped a high school track meet to see Jimi Hendrix in concert. For his part, seeing one of his favorite guitarists – Mike Campbell – feet away from him during a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert is a special moment he’ll always cherish.