"The City by the Bay" about whom Journey guitarist Neal Schon so lovingly played — and by whom he was so terribly wronged during his Palace of Fine Arts "Royal, Sexy, Magic" themed wedding — has settled its score with the musician.
Bringing the February suit to a close, the Examiner reports that San Francisco has agreed to pay Schon $290,000 pending Board of Supervisors approval. That amount is roughly what the City ended up charging for the event, which was originally to cost just $58,000 in fees. But renting the rotunda at the Palace of Fine arts as well as the Innovation Hangar that used to house the Exploratorium became much more expensive for Schon and his affianced. In her words — this is Michaele Salahi, who plays a person on reality television — the City’ was “reprehensible” in its behavior. Yes, inexplicably, after she turned the wedding into a $15 pay-per-view event, San Francisco Rec and Parks levied further fees upon the couple.
"The event evolved from small and secret to a live commercial broadcast, and the city’s fees evolved accordingly," a spokesman with the City Attorney's Office said at the time. According to the suit, city officials held the couple's wedding permit "hostage" until the amount was paid in full, which it eventually was, although Schon and Salahi declined to make a charitable donation as had been requested.
Though the betrothed “should have been excited and happy in the days leading up to their wedding,”according to their lawsuit they were instead "being extorted by Defendants.”Those named were Phil Ginsburg, who is head of the Recreation and Park Department as well as Dana Ketcham, a permits manager, and Diane Rea, an events specialist.
“Despite what the City’s government did to us," Schon told the Examiner in light of the settlement, "we love our ‘City by the Bay’ and its residents... We couldn’t be happier that we’ve been vindicated.”
A spokesman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera said, “We’re glad we could reach an agreement to resolve the dispute amicably, and we wish Neal and Michaele every happiness in married life."
It's safe to say, though, that the honeymoon period between the musician and San Francisco is over. Let's just hope they can get along okay from here on out. And as for Salahi, who gained infamy for crashing a White House party — perhaps she should stay off the events circuit for a while.