When you think of the legendary artists that have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s hard to believe that Journey isn’t a name on that list. With epic rock anthems like “Faithfully,” “Open Arms” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey is by far one of the most successful rock bands of the 80’s. Still, not unlike other rock bands, Journey has seen its fair share of turn-over within the band throughout the years. After the departure of lead vocalist Steve Perry in 1987, it seems the band has been trying to find a vocalist that can replicate the shear brilliance of Perry’s voice and talent. I suppose that maybe they came somewhat close with Steve Augeri but were probably more off the mark with current lead singer Arnel Pineda. Whether they were going for a new sound or not is irrelevant to the fact that the majority of their fame came from the Journey that Steve Perry fronted, and why that Journey hasn’t already been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is beyond me.
In 1983, music industry leaders established the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to recognize the artists who displayed a huge impact on the growth and continuation of rock and roll. Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first album, which means Journey has been eligible since 2000. Until recently, nominees were chosen by music industry members, music historians and hundreds of artists internationally. In 2012, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decided to let fans have a voice, but the top 5 nominees voted by the fans only count as one ballot entry which is in turn weighed the same as a single ballot entry submitted by industry members. For a lot of artists, because the vote isn’t mostly collected by the fans, an invitation to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t a very significant honor at all.
In an interview with Billboard’s Gary Graff, Neal Schon co-founder and lead guitarist of Journey, explains that after talking with Steve Miller about his recent 2016 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Schon isn’t entirely sure that Journey would accept an invitation if they received one. Miller is said to have blasted the Rock Hall, stating that they wouldn’t provide tickets for his band and instead requested the band members pay around $10,000 each to simply watch the ceremony. Yet, Miller isn’t the first to make these allegations. In 2006, the Sex Pistols rejected their invitation stating that the Rock Hall requested the band reserve a $25,000 table to attend the ceremony. The band was inducted, but they didn’t show up to accept the honor.
Though there are some prodigious artists in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Journey’s Neal Schon doesn’t think the nomination means much these days. He stated that there are so many people inducted that aren’t even rock and roll that he doesn’t really care about being a part of it at all. It’s hard to say if that’s how Schon will still feel, if later this fall Journey does in fact receive an invitation. Perhaps he’ll have a change of heart, but then again with the absence of front man Steve Perry, it might turn out like Guns N’ Roses induction with the absence of original lead singer Axl Rose. It’s been almost 30 years since Steve Perry has performed with his former band and at this point, unlike the Eagles, it seems that Perry isn’t willing to even if hell freezes over.