Wow! This is quite a shake-up!
Steve Smith and Ross Valory have been fired from Journey by Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain.
Schon and Cain filed suit against the rhythm section, claiming the pair attempted to take control of the Journey name through Nightmare Productions, a band business entity they believed held the rights to the group's name. The lawsuit filed on Tuesday states that "in 1998, Schon, Cain and [former singer Steve] Perry entered into a written agreement providing Schon and Cain the sole, exclusive, irrevocable right to control the Journey Mark, including the Journey name. They are, therefore, authorized to perform together as Journey, with or without anyone else."
The suit adds that Valory and Smith hoped that by taking over Nightmare Productions in December of last year, "they can hold the Journey name hostage and set themselves up with a guaranteed income stream after they stop performing." Schon and Cain are seeking damages "in excess of $10 million."
The documents add that "Journey can only tour successfully and succeed creatively if it is united and the band members trust one another. The actions taken by Smith and Valory shattered that trust. ... Schon and Cain have lost confidence in both of them and are not willing to perform with them again." They add that they and singer Arnel Pineda will continue on with new musicians.
Valory was an original member and Smith joined in 1978, and both were previously fired from the band in 1985. They took part in the band's 1996 reunion. Smith left the group in 1998 but returned in 2016. Valory and Smith have not commented on their firing.
Journey are scheduled to start a summer tour with The Pretenders on May 15th, and they'll playing Jiffy Lube Live on Sunday, August 2. Register to win tickets here.
Source: Blabbermouth and Premiere
photo credit - iHR archive