The SF-founded band Journey is on tour again, but the two remaining 1980s members Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain are suing each other while on tour, and each has allegedly hired bodyguards to keep the other out of their dressing rooms.
The rock band Journey was founded in San Francisco in 1973, and still has a special place in this city’s heart, especially among SF Giants fans. And you may have seen the 2013 documentary Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey, which tells the truly uplifting tale of their permanent Steve Perry replacement Arnel Pineda, whom they plucked from obscurity and homelessness, and whose onstage energy reinvigorated the band’s touring success.
That story had a happy ending, but it was not a happy ending in 2021, when founding member Neal Schon and 1980 (pre-"Don’t Stop Believin’") addition Jonathan Cain fired the remaining original members out of the band via a lawsuit. A yet-again remade version of Journey, with Schon and Cain still in the band (ages 69 and 73, respectively) is currently on tour again.
Journey is fighting over a member's Mar-a-Lago performance, suing over the group's Amex account, and hiring and firing managers. But... it's still filling arenas. https://t.co/4vPx8vEw0t— billboard pro (@billboardpro) March 2, 2023
But your wheel in the sky will be spinning over a new Billboard exposé on the absolutely bonkers Journey infighting between the remaining 1980s-era members Schon and Cain. According to Billboard, the guitarist Schon and keyboard player Cain are currently suing each other while the band is still on tour, are engaged in a separate legal battle over whether "Don’t Stop Believin’” can be performed at Trump rallies, and both have hired bodyguards to keep the other out of their dressing room.
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And yes, it may feel like a cheap shot to go after spouses, but here’s a pair of factoids that tell you about the current mindframe of Journey’s most tenured members. Cain is now married to televangelist Paula White, who served as Donald Trump’s “spiritual adviser.” Not to be out-batshitted, Schon’s wife is the 2009 White House gate-crasher and The Real Housewives of D.C. veteran Michaele Schon. (Their 2013 SF wedding was carried on pay-per-view, and the newlyweds ended up suing the city over it.)
In fact, Schon has been on an incredibly litigious kick for years, and fired their manager to make himself manager in 2021. “By the time Schon started managing Journey, he and Michaele had spent six years scrutinizing trademarks and merchandise and ticket sales,” Billboard reports. “And they came to one conclusion: Journey was getting screwed. That meant everyone had to go, so Schon fired or sued managers, accountants, bandmates and promoters, some of whom had worked with the group for decades.”
Which brings us to the current lawsuit between the two Journey members. That lawsuit is essentially a dispute over who gets access to the band’s American Express card. As that suit made its way through the courts, Billboard reports that Schon “stationed two off-duty police officers outside his dressing room,” and “at a Florida show last spring, Schon and his wife, Michaele, sent an assistant into keyboardist Jonathan Cain’s dressing room to snoop around.”
“Cain caught the assistant red-handed, and then hired an off-duty officer to guard his own dressing room,” per Billboard.
And there is the Trump issue. Cain apparently played "Don’t Stop Believin" for Trump at a Mar-a-Lago event, infuriating Schon. As Billboard reports, Cain "also appeared at a Las Vegas 'Evangelicals for Trump' event three months before the 2020 presidential election. In December, Schon sent a cease-and-desist letter that called Cain’s Mar-a-Lago performance 'deleterious to the Journey brand as it polarizes the band’s fans and outreach.'"
Does any of this make you want to see Journey’s current “Freedom” tour? Sorry, they’re not playing San Francisco, or anywhere in the Bay Area. The closest tour date to here is on April 19, some 85 miles away at the Stockton Arena.
Image: View of American Rock musicians Neal Schon (left) and Jonathan Cain, both of the group Journey, during an interview on MTV at Teletronic Studios, New York, New York, April 20, 1983. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)