Neal Schon Responds To Rumors About Who’s Replacing Arnel Pineda

In the wake of Arnel Pineda’s recent statement addressing racism and criticism directed at him, highlighting his commitment to continue singing with or without Journey, bandmate Neal Schon has stepped forward to put an end to swirling rumors about Pineda’s possible departure. Taking to Facebook, he wrote:

“Dear friends, this message is to dispel any and all of the idiotic, relentless rag mag bulls**t articles coming from ex-managers about me replacing Arnel or Arnel leaving the band. We are better than ever!”

The guitarist added:

“We all look forward to seeing you this year! Tour starts in a few days. Much love and gratitude to you all.”

Journey’s 2024 tour will kick off on February 9 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi. The band is set to join forces with Def Leppard once again for a North American tour from July to September, building on their collaborations in 2006 and 2018.

The Racism That Followed Pineda

In 2007, Journey made headlines by hiring Filipino singer Arnel Pineda as their frontman after Schon discovered his rock covers on YouTube. The decision to place an Asian artist at the forefront of an all-American band stirred a wave of racism and doubts among some fans.

Responding to his critics on Instagram, Pineda recently shared:

“Dear bashers, foes, racists, bigots, haters, warmongers, etc etc etc. No matter what or how you will name me, I won’t stop singing with or without Journey… It’s in my blood… Yes, I want a better life. Yes, I want to be acknowledged with what I do best, but never, ever have I ever dreamed, nor have I ever desired so deeply to be a part of the band you love and respect so deeply… Call it fate? Call it destiny? Call it divine intervention? Or call it pure luck?”

Against the backdrop of John Lennon’s ‘Love,’ the message continued:

“I am sorry that I caused you such unforgivable pain… And for your satisfaction, I am offering to take the blame… I still believe in love, peace, unity, and harmony, and I’m praying that one day, you will forgive me the way I have forgiven you all 16 years ago. Love is all. Love always wins. I’m proud of my wounds, much as I’m proud of how they have turned into an imperfect but beautiful scars. Peace to you all. Love to you all.”

Unlike some diehard fans, the Journey members and their ex-vocalist, Steve Perry, welcomed the artist into the band. Perry gave a shout-out to Pineda during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017, while his successor described meeting with him as a ‘glorious moment.’

You can find Neil Schon’s recent post here.