Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of FameJourney fans undoubtedly were disappointed that Steve Perry chose not to perform with the group at the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony last week, but guitarist Neal Schon says he was just happy to get the chance to reconnect with his former band mate.

“The whole event was amazing,” Schon tells Rolling Stone. “I really loved seeing Steve Perry, who I haven’t seen in a long time, since we did the Hollywood Walk of Fame [in 2005].”

Schon says that before the band hit the stage to be inducted, he had an emotional visit with Perry backstage.

“I looked at him and said, ‘Hey man, I really miss you,'” Neal reveals. “There was very good eye contact. It was real. It wasn’t just things being said because of the ceremony and to keep things cool. He said, ‘Coffee is way overdue for us.’ I went, ‘Let’s do it. Please.'”

Neal also admits that his emotions got the better of him when it came time to make his speech at the ceremony.

“When I walked up to the mic and Steve met me and he gave me this big hug, I just couldn’t get it together to read, so I didn’t read,” Schon reveals.

Meanwhile, Neal tells Rolling Stone that he’s hoping that after he and Steve get their friendship “more solidified,” they might be able to work together again.

“[N]ot necessarily Journey, something more bluesy, more R&B-ish, soul,” Schon suggests.

Neal also says he’d have no problem if Steve — who recently revealed exclusively to ABC Radio that he’s finished a new solo album — wants sing Journey songs if he decides to perform live again.

“He owns the songs as much as we do,” Schon insists. “He’s very overdue to be able to do that.”

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