Neal Schon Feared For His Life When He Had Double Pneumonia On Tour

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

July 20, 2020

Like any musician, Journey guitarist and co-founder Neal Schon has no clue when he'll be able to perform again in person for a live audience.

Schon has been busy practicing and working on the forthcoming Journey album with some members of the band's new lineup during the pandemic. His previous experience with a severe respiratory disease would suggest he won't rush to get back on the road.

In a recent conversation on the Live from Nerdville series with Joe Bonamassa thanked Schon for reaching out to him during his bout with bronchitis a while back. Schon replied that he knows intimately how damaging respiratory infections can be, especially when you're traveling.

"Have had double pneumonia myself before, I had to finish a tour like that; I was like, 'Well, man, do not mess around,'" Schon said. "It won't go away for life if you do not take care of it.' I was scared for my own life, and so I've gone through that, especially, when you on tour."

He continued, noting that his doctors urged him to go home and get proper rest. "I went against doctor's orders, both my lungs were full, and I had a whole second half of the tour to do. All the doctors said, 'Don't do it,' and I said, 'I can't [cancel on] the band, and I can't do that to the other bands that are opening up.' I was on a nebulizer for about a year-and-a-half, and all the heaviest antibiotics and all that."

Schon added that he's thankfully stayed healthy since he got over the illness.

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott recent spoke up about how a bout with pneumonia nearly ruined his voice a number of years ago. He recalled needing months of vocal coaching before he was rehabilitated.

Scorpions drummer Mikkey Dee confirmed earlier this month that he lost 15 pounds when he was infected with COVID-19 this past spring.

Photo: Getty Images

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