Neal Schon says he didn’t blow off a Silverdocs film festival audience when he left abruptly after the screening of a new Journey rockumentary Monday night. The band’s lead guitarist told us Wednesday he told the filmmakers all along he wouldn’t participate in a panel discussion about “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey,” and doesn’t know why festival organizers were informed otherwise.
(A Silverdocs rep says the band’s people approved press material describing the night’s expected line-up.)
Schon said he wanted to avoid any heckling or hassling of his controversial lady love, Michaele Salahi — plus, he just doesn’t like Q&As. “I was never comfortable sitting on stool, having people ask me questions, without a guitar in my hand,” the veteran rock star said. “I have tinnitus, I can barely hear what the people are saying.”
The red carpet for the annual AFI/Discovery festival rolled on Tuesday night with a bit more gravitas: Acclaimed documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky were honored at the Charles Guggenheim Symposium. They were saluted by none other than Jason Baldwin, one of the young Arkasas men known as the “West Memphis Three” released from life sentences for murder after the filmmakers’s “Paradise Lost” trilogy made the case for their innocence. The film festival runs through Sunday.
Read earlier: What a Journey! Michaele Salahi and Neal Schon walk red carpet at Silverdocs, bail out early, 6/19/12
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