Journey Reaches 'Amicable Settlement' In Lawsuit Over Band Name
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
April 1, 2021
Journey has reached an "amicable settlement" with two former band members fired last winter amid accusations of a corporate coup d'état to take over rights to the band name.
In March of 2020, Journey founder Neal Schon and longtime keyboardist Jonathan Cain fired longtime bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith from the band after the rhythm section allegedly launched an attempt to wrest control of the band's trademarks.
Lawyers for Schon and Cain said at the time that Valory and Smith were angling to fund their retirements with the action.
The four Rock and Roll Hall of Famers exchanged a flurry of lawsuits and countersuits last year, and now 13 months later the foursome has reached an agreement, Rolling Stone reports. The terms have not been disclosed.
“The members of the band Journey who were parties to a recent lawsuit (Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Steve Smith, and Ross Valory) are pleased to announce that they have resolved their differences and reached an amicable settlement agreement,” the band told Rolling Stone in a statement. “Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain acknowledge the valuable contributions that both Ross Valory and Steve Smith have made to the music and the legacy of Journey. Ross Valory and Steve Smith wish their former bandmates well and much success in the future. Journey looks forward to continuing to tour and make new music for their dedicated fans around the world.”
After Valory and Smith were ousted last year, Journey announced a new lineup featuring keyboardist Jason Derlatka, Grammy-winning drummer Narada Michael Walden and the return of one-time bassist/producer Randy Jackson, who was previously in the band from 1985-'87 following Valory's first departure.
With the new lineup in place behind frontman Arnel Pineda, Journey began work on what will be the band's 15th studio album, expected to arrive later this year.
Journey has had plenty of personnel issues boil over publicly in recent years, but those have primarily been between Schon and Cain. Both men said they patched up their most critical differences by the end of the last Journey tour.
While classic-era singer Steve Perry was not involved in the litigation, he initially supported Smith and Valory's attempt to expand the board membership of Journey's Nightmare Productions company to include the both of them, Journey's former manager Herbie Herbert and himself.
Asked about the lawsuit last fall by Rolling Stone, Perry said he was unsurprised at the drama between his former bandmates. "There was never any 'Kumbaya' with [Journey]," he said.
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