According to a comprehensive overview of the band’s ongoing drama published by Billboard, the members have been entailed in legal battles, failed “coup” attempts, Mar-a-Lago banquets, $104,000 in jewelry and clothes, off-duty police officers guarding the dressing rooms every night.
The band’s two remaining classic members, guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain are in the center of the news. In 2020, the two consolidated their control over the band after suing then-bassist Ross Valory (an original member since 1973) and then-drummer Steve Smith, who joined the group in the late ‘70s and can be heard on their signature hit, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Claiming the two were plotting a “coup” to seize control of the band, the lawsuit ultimately resulted in settlements, as well as Valory and Smith’s departures.
Cain and Schon then began turning on each other With the two embroiled in a number of disagreements — even involving their wives, Michaele Ann Schon and Paula White-Cain — tension came to a head during the 2022 tour when Cain caught an assistant snooping around his dressing room at the request of the Schons, who had recently hired off-duty police officers to guard their own dressing room.
In response, Cain hired an off-duty security detail of his own, bringing the conflict to a nearly unimaginable level considering that the two continue to perform on stage with each other.
“That’s just the level of pettiness and control and conspiracy they came to believe in,” a source told Billboard, speaking of the Schons.
Journey has become a massive financial machine. It is noted that Schon appears to have recently taken the helm. He first became the band’s manager after Valory and Smith left the band in 2020, and was responsible for their upgrade from amphitheater tours to full-on arena tours, which have been notably successful.
The band briefly hired Def Leppard manager Mike Kobayashi to step in, but according to Billboard, he appears to no longer be working for the band as of last month.
Meanwhile, Schon and Cain are locked in a lawsuit that Schon initiated, claiming that Cain had “improperly” refused him access to a corporate American Express account. Cain responded by detailing Schon’s irresponsible spending, which totaled over a million dollars in just a single month and even included $104,000 for jewelry and clothes alone.