Journey Fires 2 Band Members After They Allegedly Attempt to Hijack Band's Name

Two members of the band Journey have been fired from the group following an attempted coup, according to a report by TMZ. The outlet obtained a lawsuit filed by lead guitarist Neal Schon and keyboard player Jonathan Cain, alleging that long-time bassist Russ Valory and drummer Steve Smith got them embroiled in a "scheme." There is no word yet on what the group's line-up will look like going forward.

Schon and Cain reportedly filed a lawsuit claiming that Valory and Smith tried to take control of the band's corporation, Nightmare Production, Inc. They claim that Valory and Smith believed the move would effectively give them access to the Journey brand name, and all the lucrative opportunities that came with it.

The result was Schon and Cain firing Valory and Smith from the group. The rhythm section was reportedly looking to retire soon anyway, but now their retirement scheme has apparently soured their relationship with Journey on the way out.

The lawsuit documents note that the band name Journey is already licensed to a corporation called Elmo, which was set up in 1985 by then-lead singer Steve Perry, along with Schon and Cain.

The lawsuit seeks damages from Valory and Smith for breach of fiduciary duty, totaling at least $10 million. So far, there is no word on Journey's planned tour for this summer, where they were set to perform alongside The Pretenders.

Journey formed in 1973 from former members of the bands Santana and Frumious Brandersnatch. The original line-up included Schon, Valory, guitarist George Tickner, drummer Prairie Prince and Gregg Rolie on keyboards and lead vocals.

The band has had 15 members in total, and three more in brief touring stints. Its most successful phase was during Perry's tenure as lead vocalist, between 1978 and 1987. The songs most fans are familiar with, including "Don't Stop Believin'" were written and released during this time.


That run finally came to an end when Perry's mother became ill, and he was sparse in recording sessions. The group disbanded, going on an indefinite hiatus for nearly a decade. When the regrouped in 1995, Perry was on-board, recording Trial by Fire with the rest of the lineup. However, Perry injured his hip while hiking soon after, meaning he could not perform for quite some time. In 1998, the band finally decided to go on without him.

Now, with the firing of Valory and Smith, the only official members of Journey remaining are Schon, Cain and Arnel Pineda. Pineda is a singer form the Phillipines who joined Journey in 2007, with a remarkably similar vocal range to Perry. He has been performing with the group internationally ever since.