Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Neal Schon (b. February 27 1954 in San Mateo, California), the son of a woodwinds player, himself played the oboe for many years beginning in high school. Schon first picked up the guitar at the age of 10 and he joined Santana as a teenager (17) before moving on to form Journey, a group he continues to lead. But his vitae also includes a pair of albums with keyboard whiz Jan Hammer, short-term collaborations with Sammy Hagar and Paul Rodgers, stints with Bad English (which also featured Journey’s Jonathan Cain and former Babys British vocalist John Waite) and Hardline, and some instrumental acoustic albums for the Higher Octave label that show an entirely different side of his artistic personality. And even as Journey’s latest lineup cranks out the hits to a still-faithful body of fans, Schon is immersed in side projects such as Piranha Blues (1999) and an unnamed funk outfit that features former Prince associates Rosie Gaines and Michael Bland . He’s sometimes overlooked in lists of rock guitar virtuosos, but during the past three decades Schon has certainly made his mark.
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