In 2013, Journey guitarist Neal Schon had an opulent white wedding that turned unexpectedly green.
According to Schon, the city “extorted” him and his bride-to-be by charging exorbitant add-ons, including a $100,000 “premium reservation fee” just days before the couple’s wedding at the Palace of Fine Arts. (For context, the standard rate for renting the Palace of Fine Arts is $350 plus $100 per hour, according to the Chronicle)
In addition to the inflated reservation fee, Schon was also charged a “park regeneration fee” of $50,000 —
maybe because Journey shreds too hard, maybe because Schon’s wedding was actually an extravaganza featuring pay-per-view performances from Journey and Tower of Power.
Whatever the reason, the couple ended up shelling out $240,000 to get hitched under the Palace's majestic rotunda.
“Despite what the city’s government did to us, we love our ‘city by the bay’ and its residents,” Schon told the Examiner. “We couldn’t be happier that we’ve been vindicated.”
Schon’s wife, reality TV star Michaele Salahi, was less charitable, calling the fees “reprehensible.”
Also reprehensible, according to the city, was the theme of the couple’s wedding: “Royal, Sexy, Magic.” Per the Examiner, Schon wanted to take over space in the nearby Exploratorium building and dub one of the room’s “sexy,” a plan that city officials felt would suggest “profane or pornographic thematic elements.” And if there's one thing San Francisco shouldn't stand for as a city, it's profanity.
Schon, of course, is a founding member of Journey, a San Francisco
nostalgia act band best known for the 1981 hit “Don’t Stop Believin.’”