Neal Schon Knew Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ Was ‘Going to Be Massive’
Journey's Neal Schon reveals that when "Don't Stop Believin'" was done and being mixed, he turned to everyone in the room and said, "I think this song is going to be massive." In his interview with Guitar World, the Journey guitarist talks about what inspired the lyrics and how the structure of the song was different.
Schon says the structure of "Don't Stop Believin'" was completely different since the guitar solo is before the chorus and the chorus is on the outro. "For the first time, you're hearing a chorus on the outro, which was completely against all rules of nature in that time period - and now - if you're going to get a song on the radio. The saying was, 'Don't bore me. Get to the chorus.'"
The guitar solo is also the melody, something that surprised many on the first listen, including singer Steve Perry. "Steve turned to me and said, ‘What? You’re going to play the melody that I’m going to sing?’ I go, ‘Why not? It’s a good one,’ Schon recalled.
The song was inspired by a phrase one of the musician's fathers used to encourage them, "Jonathan [Cain] wrote the lyrics 'don't stop believin' with Steve, but it was a phrase his father had given him when he was trying to make it in the music industry and not having much luck, I guess," says the guitarist.
Schon adds, "When the song was done and the mix was almost finalized, I turned to everybody in the room and said, 'I think this song is going to be massive'" "Don't Stop Believin'" was released as a single and according to Schon, it wasn't as successful as they thought initially it would be, "but then it ended up being massive. It just took a long time for everybody to catch up!"
Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" has been certified as five-times platinum by the RIAA, selling over five million units. Their Freedom Tour kicks off in Sparks, Nevada on Sept. 17 and wraps up in Toronto, Canada on March 12. Get your tickets here.