Journey guitarist objects to bandmate playing at Trump events

Neal Schon serves a cease-and-desist letter to keyboardist Jonathan Cain, insisting the band ‘is not, and should not be, political.’

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Journey guitarist Neal Schon (left) and keyboardist Jonathan Cain speak to reporters after the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Rock band Journey’s ace guitarist and de facto CEO Neal Schon has served the band’s longtime keyboardist Jonathan Cain a cease-and-desist letter after the latter performed the band’s songs at events affiliated with former President Donald Trump.

The letter, dated Dec. 16, states that Cain performing at Trump’s events and appearing in his videos implies that Journey is in support of the former president.

“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,” the letter reads.

Schon’s lawyer, Louis R. Miller, attached a video shared on Twitter where Cain can be seen performing “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” at an event at Trump’s Florida home, Mar-a-Lago. Trump can be seen in the crowd looking on as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Kimberly Guilfoyle sing on stage.

Schon replied to the tweet at the time in November, writing: “For the record I stated for years now that I’m not OK with us (sic) any type of political statement should not be connected to our music that we wrote.”

The letter stated that Cain, a Chicago native, had “no right to use Journey for politics” nor should he be able to capitalize off the band for his own religious or political agenda and doing so is harmful to Journey’s image in the public eye.

Schon’s lawyer advised Cain and his counsel there will be no further actions taken should the keyboardist stop and agree to no longer do anything that would “intentionally harm the Journey brand.”

In a statement Thursday, Cain said that Schon “should look in the mirror when he accuses me of causing harm to the Journey brand,” going on to list a number of alleged professional ills committed by Schon.

“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,” Cain continued. ”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.”

Cain concluded: “If anyone is destroying the Journey brand, it is Neal — and Neal alone.”

This isn’t the first time Journey has been in the news for a squabble between bandmates. The band has been marred with decades of fluctuating lineups and snarly lawsuits among band members.

In 2020, Schon and Cain filed a lawsuit with the California Superior Court claiming Steve Smith and Ross Valory attempted to launch a ”coup” to gain control of the Journey trademark and oust the original band members, according to court documents.

They ended up settling for $10 million.


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