Neal Schon first spotted Michaele Salahi 16 years ago as the willowy blonde (pre-Tareq, and known as Michaele Holt at the time) walked toward her seat at a Journey concert in D.C. He was so smitten he sent a crew member out to the audience inviting her and her friend backstage after the show. They spent hours talking and he gave her his number.
She didn’t call for nine months because. . . well, how seriously could you take a rock and roll star?
Sixteen years, one month and one day later, Schon got on his knees on stage during a concert Sunday and proposed with an 11.42 carat oval diamond. She said yes.
Neal, 58, told us Monday morning he decided to pop the question during a charity concert in Baltimore because their families would be there. He picked out the ring, planned to propose just before the song “Faithfully,” and prepared a speech: “I had this whole thing I was going to do.” But when he called Michaele, 47, on stage and got on one knee, “I started crying.” Pretty soon she was crying, too, and — of course — the audience went nuts. “It was the biggest ‘yes’ ever!” she said.
About that ring: A jeweler friend sent him a couple diamonds. He picked the oval stone. “It’s big but it doesn’t look gaudy.”
After she left her marriage to Tareq Salahi, Michaele, 47, spent a year on tour with Neal — which, he says, convinced him she was willing and able to be the wife of a rock and roll musician. “I love the man so I embrace the life,” she said.
After the remaining six weeks on tour, the two will head home to San Francisco and begin planning the wedding. This will be her second marriage, his fifth; he has five children from his previous relationships.
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