When musicians complain about political makes use of of their songs with out permission, the cease-and-desist letters are normally despatched to politicians. Within the case of Journey, it’s one band member in opposition to one other — over a want for the group to stay apolitical.
Final week, a lawyer for Neal Schon, Journey’s founding guitarist, wrote to Jonathan Cain, the group’s keyboardist, demanding that he cease showing at occasions for former President Donald J. Trump “as Journey,” and performing Journey songs at these capabilities, saying that Mr. Cain’s appearances have precipitated “irreparable hurt to the Journey model.”
“Though Mr. Cain is free to specific his private beliefs and associations, when he does that on behalf of Journey or as a consultant of the band, such conduct is extraordinarily deleterious to the Journey model because it polarizes the band’s followers and outreach,” says the letter, a replica of which was supplied to The New York Instances by representatives of Mr. Schon.
“Journey isn’t, and shouldn’t be, political,” the letter provides, and notes the danger of a decreased incomes potential to its subsequent tour, set to start in January.
The letter factors to a efficiency by Mr. Cain final month of “Don’t Cease Believin’,” the band’s enduring energy ballad, on the America First Expertise Gala at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s property in Florida. An internet video of the occasion exhibits Mr. Cain seated at a keyboard, main a singalong with conservative political figures like Consultant Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Kari Lake onstage beside him. Within the crowd, Mr. Trump is seen together with Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump Jr. and others.
Mr. Cain has lengthy been related to Mr. Trump’s interior circle. His spouse, Paula White, was Mr. Trump’s non secular adviser throughout his administration, and he or she delivered the invocation at Mr. Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
The existence of the letter was first reported by Selection. A consultant of Mr. Cain didn’t reply to a request for remark.
“Don’t Cease Believin’,” from Journey’s 1981 album “Escape,” was a Prime 10 hit when it got here out. It has additionally had an enormously profitable afterlife, showing within the last episode of “The Sopranos” in 2007, in addition to within the Broadway musical “Rock of Ages.” Written by Mr. Cain, Mr. Schon and Steve Perry, the group’s former vocalist, the tune has racked up greater than 1.4 billion streams on Spotify alone.
Musicians’ complaints concerning the political use of their songs additionally normally entails accusations of copyright infringement, however on condition that Mr. Cain is a co-author, which may be moot, and the letter from Mr. Schon makes no point out of copyright.
As an alternative, its focus is Journey’s need to stay apolitical. The letter hyperlinks to a radio interview with the band, during which the group was requested whether or not it might have accepted an invite to carry out at Mr. Trump’s inauguration. Mr. Cain answered: “We’re not political. We don’t get into politics. We attempt to keep in our lane.” Mr. Schon added: “The perfect place to remain is impartial, within the heart.”
Intra-band tensions have lengthy been part of the story of Journey, which emerged as a progressive rock group within the Seventies — Mr. Schon started his profession as a teen in Santana — and located arena-filling success with dramatic pop-rock within the ’80s.
Currently, Mr. Schon and Mr. Cain, who joined the group for “Escape,” have battled over varied monetary points, and one other letter despatched to Mr. Cain this month — by a special lawyer for Mr. Schon, at a special agency — complained that Ms. White was inappropriately interfering within the band’s enterprise affairs.