40 years after releasing their first album together, Neal Schon isn't giving up hope that Steve Perry will join forces with him in the studio for a non-Journey project -- which could see the two icons tracking some new R&B-based material. Schon, who's been dedicating the band's "Lights" to Perry every night on tour, told Best Classic Bands, that's it's very possible their paths might physically cross sometime soon, explaining, "I’ve been hearing that he’s been showing up in the same coffee joint that I go to all the time. Hopefully I’ll run into him soon. We had a great meeting when we met for (Journey’s 2017 induction into the Rock and Roll) Hall of Fame. I realized there was still a very deep connection there. He’s had nothing but very kind words to say about myself. I’ve done the same for him. The mutual respect is there." Perry left Journey in 1998 rather than be forced into hip-surgery so that the band could tour behind its 1996 hit reunion album Trial By Fire.

As far as the pair diving back into work after a two-decade layoff, Schon said, "One step at a time. I’d just like to get to know him again and see where he’s at. But I can surely tell you that I would love to just have him come and just mess around one day at (producer) Narada (Michael Walden’s) studio with the three of us, because I think we would turn out something that he would really dig."

Schon revealed that Steve Perry has contributed to Schon's upcoming autobiography due out next year, which he co-wrote with Tony Giannotti, who interviewed many of the musicians Schon has worked with in his career -- including Perry. He revealed to TwinCities.com, "Steve’s interview was amazing and I’m proud to have him in there. It brought back a lot of great memories."

Neal Schon and Steve Perry, who is prepping a new album due out later this year, co-wrote such Journey classics as "Don't Stop Believin'," "Stone In Love" "Lights," and "Any Way You Want It," told us that during the band's heyday, Schon literally had uncut gems flowing from his fingers: "It was challenging, because Neal Schon is a goldmine of potential ideas and he doesn't know, really, which are the best or not -- 'cause they're all interesting to him. But in come my set of ears and he'd play stuff and I'd hear melodies, I'd say, 'Wait, what was that?!' And (he'd say) 'Oh, I don't know, it's just 'diddle-a doh' over this with a fifth. . .' I'd say, 'I don't care what you call it -- what was that?' 'I don't know, it's just an idea I came up with last night.' I'd say, 'Well, why don't you keep playing that for a second while I come up with a melody?'"

AUDIO: STEVE PERRY ON WRITING WITH NEAL SCHON