AceShowbiz - Journey star Neal Schon's cover of Prince's "Purple Rain" for his new solo album, "Universe", was a full circle moment for the guitarist, as the late music icon's anthem was inspired by the band's song "Faithfully".
Schon's bandmate Jonathan Cain recalls Prince reaching out to him back in 1984 and playing "Purple Rain", admitting the chord changes resembled those on Faithfully - and he didn't want the rockers to sue him.
"He said, 'I want to play something for you, and I want you to check it out...'," Cain tells Billboard. "I thought it was an amazing tune, and I told him, 'Man, I'm just super-flattered that you even called. It shows you're that classy of a guy. Good luck with the song. I know it's gonna be a hit'."
Cain was rewarded with "amazing seats" on Prince's "Purple Rain" tour. "I thought it was ridiculous how cool it was," he adds.
Schon initially released his "Purple Rain" cover to mark Prince's birthday in June (2019) and performed the song at a tribute show in Minnesota later the same month. Alongside the audio, Schon's friend Rick Barron wrote an anecdote that read, "Late '80s and I am sitting with Prince on the floor in his apartment at Paisley Park. We've listened to Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel."
He went on to share, "I notice a worn Journey Escape record in his collection. Surprised, I turned to him and said, 'Never took you for a Journey fan.' He gave me that doe-eyed look that always made me uncomfortable and said: 'Neal Schon is one of my favorite guitarists on the planet. … He is a genius.' "
"Neal's beautiful interpretation makes the loss of the colossal talent of 'P' a little less sad. They are each prodigy's that have woven themselves into the fabric of our lives and our lives are richer as a result," Barron concluded.