A division has erupted within the rock group Journey over keyboardist Jonathan Cain's recurring performances in support of former President Donald Trump.
In reaction to Cain performing the band's legendary, timeless track “Don't Stop Believin'” at Mar-a-Lago last month, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Kari Lake singing along to the music, guitarist Neal Schon served his 71-year-old bandmate with a cease-and-desist notice. According to Fox News, Cain has “been a part of Trump's inner circle for a long time and has been seen with the former president at various events over the years.”
Cain’s wife, Paula White, also collaborates with Trump in the role of spiritual advisor.
As reported by Variety, the cease-and-desist letter adamantly accused Cain of politicizing the group against their wishes, arguing that they wanted to keep their music apolitical.
“Although Mr. Cain is free to express his personal beliefs and associations, when he does that on behalf of Journey or for the band, such conduct is extremely deleterious to the Journey brand as it polarizes the band’s fans and outreach. Journey is not, and should not be, political,” it read.
“Mr. Cain has no right to use Journey for politics. His politics should be his own personal business. He should not be capitalizing on Journey’s brand to promote his personal political or religious agenda to the detriment of the band,” it added.
A major conflict erupted in the relationship between Schon and Cain when the latter was allegedly refused access to the band’s corporate American Express card. The lawyers for Schon argued that the issue resulted from Cain having charged more than $1 million in “improper personal expenses.”
A spokesperson for Cain stated that Schon is “just frustrated he keeps losing in court,” in reference to a legal fight regarding the restriction of Schon's access to Journey's company credit card.
In a statement made to Fox News, Cain said Schon should “look in the mirror” in the event that he's accusing someone else of tarnishing the image of the band:
“I have watched him damage our brand for years and am a victim of both his–and his wife’s–bizarre behavior. Neal sued Live Nation twice, losing both times, and damaging our ability to ever work with them again; Neal outrageously tried to take away trademarks from Steve Perry; Neal and his wife continually insult the professionalism of numerous accountants, road managers, and management firms with endless legal threats and their bullying, toxic, and incoherent emails; Neal argues online with fans who don’t see eye to eye with him; and Neal and his wife recklessly spend Journey’s money until there is none left for operating costs,” he wrote.
Cain’s statement finished with him contending that “if anyone is destroying the Journey brand, it is Neal—and Neal alone.”
Cain, Schon, and singer Steve Perry wrote the hit song together in 1981.
According to Fox News, Schon said in 2020 that he did not intend for Journey to be a symbol of either Democrats or Republicans and that he had considered it necessary to protect the brand.
“I’ve had to fight this whole time to protect the brand I built with Steve Perry, way before Gregg [Rolie] and I picked Cain to replace himself when he wanted to retire from the road back then. Well frankly, I’m tired of having to defend all by myself,” said Schon.
Mixing Journey with politics hasn't always been an issue for the guitarist. 2007 was the year that Hillary Clinton infamously announced her presidential candidacy by re-enacting the celebrated Sopranos finale, which included the hit track.