Wayne Newton joins Journey on the Las Vegas Strip

Neal Schon mentioned to his VIP guest Friday night that he dropped out of high school to join Santana at age 15.

“I never looked back,” said the great guitarist.

“That’s the age I was when I came to Las Vegas,” the guest said. “Me and my brother, playing in the living room, six shows a night, six nights a week. And I’ve been doing it ever since. »

Wayne Newton was the VIP, as he and his wife, Kathleen, met Neal and Michael Schon before and after the Journey show at Resorts World Theatre. Mr. Las Vegas told Schon, “I thought I could play guitar, until I saw you play. I have to go home and train.

“But you play, what, 13 instruments?” says Schon. “I can play guitar. I can play bass. I can play keyboards. And I’m a frustrated drummer. That’s about it.”

Wayne, who returned to his headlining series at the Flamingo, had not attended a Journey show until Friday. But Kathleen had seen the band at a World Series of Rock festival at the Municipal Stadium in her hometown of Cleveland. Aerosmith, AC/DC and Scorpions were also featured.

“I’m totally a fan girl here, but I’ll never forget that,” Kat Newton told The Schons.

“I remember Cleveland Stadium,” Schon said of the former Browns and Indians multi-purpose home, demolished in 1997. “This place (Resorts World Theater) is way nicer.”

Singer Arnel Pineda met Newton just before the show and asked if he was still singing “Danke Schoen” in his number.

“Yes,” Newton said. “It was supposed to be pronounced ‘Danke Shern’, but I changed it.” Pineda then smiled and sang the song’s intro.

Multi-instrumentalist and long-time band member Jonathan Cain told Newton that he had seen the Newton Brothers perform on tour in Chicago in 1958. “I was just a kid and you were amazing. I was inspired,” Cain said. Newton replied, “I was a kid then too, and thank you!”

The Newtons were seated left of the stage/right of the house, visible to the crowd. Towards the end of the show, Schon came forward and waved at the couple, as the crowd roared.

“I was thinking of bringing a guitar, but I didn’t know how it would turn out,” Schon told Newton afterwards.

“You should have! I would have loved that,” Newton said.

“Come tomorrow night!” said Schon smiling.

“Ah, I can’t,” Newton said. “I have a show.”

John Katsilometes’ column airs daily in Section A. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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