Journey is bringing original singer Gregg Rolie back into the fold for a 2023 tour

Current and former Journey members Greg Rowley (left), Steve Perry, Neil Schon and Ross Valory attend the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. Photo: Kevin Mazur 2017

a triporiginal vocalist and keyboardist, Greg Rowley She’s set to join the band when it kicks off next month on its “Freedom Tour 2023” in North America, according to guitarist Neil Schon — the first time he’s performed with the diamond-selling Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in more than four decades.

The idea to bring Rolie back into the fold began in November when Sean posted a photo of himself with the keyboard player on social media with the caption, “Two original founding members. I think my brother Greg Rolie should join us on the 2023 tour. What do you think, buddy? Will you?” dazzles her and we’ll have a huge variety of songs to choose from.”

in Facebook share On Wednesday, January 4, Shawn confirmed that Rowley would be joining the tour. Responding to a fan’s comment asking about the proposed reunion, he said, “You’ll meet him.”

A former Santana member with Sean, Rolie was part of Journey’s The original lineup — which also featured guitarist Ross Valory and drummer Ainsley Dunbar — in 1972.

The Journey line-up, with Rolie on vocals, would record three best-selling albums. Faced with the loss of their record label, the group was convinced in 1978 to recruit vocalist Steve Perry. Subsequent albums by the band yielded the hits “Don’t Stop Believin'”, “Lights”, and “Faithfully”.

Set to hit 38 cities across North America, Freedom Tour 2023 kicks off February 4 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with scheduled stops in Austin, Memphis, Washington, D.C., and more before wrapping up on April 25 in Palm Springs. The closest Bay Area date will be at Stockton Arena on April 19th.

Journey’s current touring line-up includes Sean, keyboardists Jonathan Cain and Jason Derlatka, vocalist Arnel Pineda, drummer Dean Castronovo, and guitarist Todd Jensen.

1978 Flight: Ainsley Dunbar (left), Ross Valory, Steve Perry, Neil Shawn and Greg Rowley. Photo: Michael Butland/Getty Images 1978

Sean did not say if Rolie will return as a full-time member of Journey or make a cameo. Cain, who replaced him as the group’s keyboard player in 1980, is still a member of the band and will be on the tour as well.

But Cain and Schon are currently entangled in a lawsuit over the band’s finances, and last month, Schon sent the keyboardist a cease and desist letter after he performed “Don’t Stop Believin'” at a Donald Trump event in March. -a-Lago in November. Paula White, Cain’s wife, served as a spiritual advisor to the former president.

“Although Mr. Kane is free to express his personal beliefs and associations, when he does so on behalf of Journey or for the benefit of the band, such behavior is extremely detrimental to the Journey brand because it polarizes the band’s fans and outreach,” Sean’s letter read. The trip is not and should not be political.

“Mr. Cain has no right to use Journey for politics,” he added. “His politics should be his own personal affair. He should not exploit Journey’s brand to promote his personal political or religious agenda at the expense of the band.”

Rolie recently toured with Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band.

  • Eidin Vaziri

    Aydin Vaziri is a pop music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: Twitter: @MusicSF

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