The longtime guitarist for arena rockers Journey, Neal Schon was born February 27, 1954 in San Mateo, CA; a child prodigy, he joined Santana at age 17, making his debut on 1971's III LP. In 1973 Schon co-founded Journey with fellow Santana alum Gregg Rolie; although the group's early records favored a largely instrumental, progressive rock-influenced approach, with the 1978 addition of frontman Steve Perry their commercial fortunes ascended as slick hard rock hits like "Wheel in the Sky," "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," and "Anyway You Want It" became FM radio staples.
In 1981, Schon teamed with keyboardist Jan Hammer for the fusion-inspired Untold Passion; that same year, Journey achieved mega-stardom with the release of the chart-topping Escape, which yielded the Top Ten hits "Who's Crying Now," "Open Arms," and "Don't Stop Believin'." A second collaboration with Hammer, Here to Stay, followed in 1983, with Schon soon rejoining Journey for the smash Frontiers; however, despite the success of 1986's Raised on Radio, he left the band in 1989, recording the solo effort Late Nite before forming the supergroup Bad English with singer John Waite. After two LPs, Bad English imploded, and in late 1993, he joined the reformed Journey, issuing the acoustic solo outing Beyond the Thunder two years later. The two-disc Electric World followed in 1997, and in 1999 Schon returned with Piranha Blues.