The attorney for Journey’s Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain has issued a statement following the news yesterday (March 4) of drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory being fired from the band following an “attempted corporate coup d’état” of one of the band’s corporate entities.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, attorney Skip Miller said, “The contracts are clear on their face. The Journey name is controlled by Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain. And for very good cause, they don’t want to perform with Smith or Valory anymore, they don’t want to have anything to do with them, and that’s their right. They’re going to go on with Journey, continue with the great success of the past and these two guys are going to get replaced.”
News broke yesterday that Schon and Cain have filed a lawsuit accusing Smith and Valory of an attempted takeover of the Board of Directors at Nightmare Productions, Inc., one of Journey’s corporate entities, and claims that Smith and Valory thought Nightmare Productions had control over the Journey trademark. However, Schon and Cain have the “sole, exclusive, irrevocable right to control the Journey Mark, including the Journey name,” per their lawsuit.
Per a press release issued along with the lawsuit, “As detailed in the Complaint, their campaign culminated on February 13, 2020, when Smith and Valory held improper shareholder and Board of Directors meetings of Nightmare Productions. During those meetings, the defendants and their allies voted to give Smith and Valory control of the Board, removing Cain as President and replacing him with Smith, and removing Schon as Secretary and replacing him with Valory.
With control of Nightmare Productions, per the Complaint, Smith and Valory incorrectly believe they can seize control of the Journey name and force Schon, Cain and Nightmare Productions to provide them with wind-fall payments after their retirement; they want to be paid a share of Journey touring revenue in perpetuity under the guise of a licensing fee while they perform absolutely no work for the band.
The very purpose of Nightmare Productions was to facilitate Journey. Smith and Valory instead used Nightmare Productions ‘as a tool to destroy the fabric of the band, undermining the very reason for Nightmare Productions’ existence.’”
Smith and Valory have yet to comment on the lawsuit. Schon and Cain, meanwhile, have shared tweets either about or potentially related to the lawsuit. Schon tweeted out a story from Billboard about the lawsuit and another tweet stating, “Time for new music” and tagging Journey members except for Smith and Valory. Schon shared a similar sentiment on Instagram where he wrote, “Looking forward to bringing you new music and show this year” and tagging Journey members except for Smith and Valory. Cain has only shared one tweet of a Bible passage: “Make time to seek to renew and restore. ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.’ Psalm 51:10.”