Journey’s Neal Schon Praises Kalamazoo Guitar Craftsman @Heritage
The founding guitarist of the band Journey shared a song on social media and praised the skills of the guitar builder who works at Heritage Guitar in Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo knows rock and roll. Long before Glenn Miller's "(I've Got A Gal) in Kalamazoo", Orville Gibson started making instruments and founded the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd. in 1902. From 1917-to 1984, some of the finest guitars in the world were built at 225 Parsons St., and gunslingers like Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Metallica's James Hetfield, Dave Grohl, and Slash have been shredding ever since.
Today, even with Gibson having moved operations to Nashville, a dedicated team of craftsmen continues the tradition of making Heritage Guitars in the same shop. The axes may not be as flashy and there's not a following of A-list stars who endorse the brand, but those who know guitars, know the quality of Heritage.
Neal Schon started playing guitar when he was just 10 years old on an acoustic Stella- a low to mid-level guitar made for beginners. Two years later, he bought his first Gibson and at seventeen was playing alongside one of the best axemen on the planet: Carlos Santana. If you're a music fan, you know the rest of the story of how Neal and keyboardist Greg Rollie ventured out on their own to form what would become one of the biggest bands in the world: Journey.
Neal recently shared a guitar piece to social media that was written not with his band, but with his father. "Livin' to Do" comes from the 2001 album Arrival, the first of a pair of albums with singer Steve Augeri- the first to replace Steve Perry after he left for the second time. In the Facebook post below, see Neal play the song soloand he prises Edwin Wilson of Heritage guitars for crafting the "killer axe" and gives a shout-out to Heritage, Gibson, and Kalamazoo.