NEAL SCHON: One Expensive Journey Down the Aisle
The Journey guitarist is suing the city of San Francisco over an inflated rental fee.
Journey guitarist Neal Schon has filed a lawsuit against San Francisco city officials, claiming they quadrupled the rental fee of the city’s Palace of Fine Arts when they learned that his wedding there in 2013 to reality TV personality Michaele Salahi would air live on Pay-Per-View.
Schon claims he agreed to the $58,000 rental fee, only to see it jacked up to $240,000 just a few days before the ceremony. The additional $182,000 reportedly comprised a “premium reservation fee” of $100,000, a “park regeneration fee” of $50,000 and other assorted add-ons. The lawsuit claims the city “extorted” the Schons after it was too late for them to change their plans.
Rebecca Coll, Schon’s lawyer, says, “What the city did was inexcusable.’’ But Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for the San Francisco city attorney’s office, says the fees were “only fair” when the ceremony was turned from a private into a commercial event. “The event evolved from small and secret to a live commercial broadcast, and the city’s fees evolved accordingly. We wish the couple well. Nothing is diminished in San Francisco’s affection for Journey.”
In addition to all the extra fees, Schon says his bride was not allowed to be photographed with the Palace in the background, and they were refused use of one of the old Exploratorium rooms for their reception after they’d renamed it the “Sexy” room.
Schon’s lawyer also points out that when the producers of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes used the Palace to shoot some scenes, they were charged just $2000.