The afterglow of Journey‘s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in April didn’t take long to fade.
While tensions have been palpable between co-founder Neal Schon and bandmate Jonathan Cain in recent years, they exploded into a charged social media exchange between the two over the group’s creative direction as well as Cain’s born again Christianity.
Schon started things on Sunday (June 4) by provocatively changing his Twitter handle to Neal Schon’s JRNY, noting that, with a Sunday (June 4) tweet saying that, “As Jon Cain said to me when we started to rebuild: You have keys and you are the main member. Convenient amnesia; I still have the keys.”
On Instagram, meanwhile, he posted a message that “I want to be elevated by whom I play with not feel like I’ve got cement shoes. If anyone is unhappy they are Not running My band then They should Leave. God has bigger plans.”
When a fan noted that Cain looks unhappy on stage with Journey during the group’s current our, Schon wrote “I’ve finally gotten to the point of Enough. I’m a very patient person…Your skin becomes tough but it has to endure. . . bottom line I’ll always be JRNY as it’s been my baby from birth. (Journey’s original manager) Herbie (Herbert) and Steve Perry will tell you the same as he did at RRHOF thank you Steve for the truth.”
Declaring that “I’m not the problem,” in another post Schon took a direct shot at Cain’s religious beliefs and the fact that his wife, minister Paula White-Cain, delivered an invocation at Donald Trump‘s presidential inauguration in January:
“I’ve stated how I felt about mixing religion and politics and how our music is not of one religion — Democratic or Republican. . . This is and has been an issue with myself Mr. Cain and his now wife, since he married. I’ve had to fight this whole time to protect the brand I built with Steve Perry, way before Gregg (Rolie) and I picked Cain to replace himself when he wanted to retire from the road back then. Well frankly, I’m tired of having to defend all by myself. Ross (Valory, Journey’s founding bassist) is no help.”
Cain, meanwhile, kept his response simple, posting “A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining. For it is impossible to truly be thankful and filled with negativity and ungratefulness at the same time.”
Frontman Arnel Pineda, meanwhile, asked for peace with the message “Praying LOVE will prevail in the end.. #BrothersThen #BrothersWillBeAgain #inGodsGuidance”
Journey is currently on the road — Schon was honored with a Neal Schon Day in his native Oklahoma during Monday’s (June 5) show in Tulsa — with a full slate of shows booked through the end of July.
Cain did tell us recently that he could see making another Journey album but not in the vein of 2011’s harder rocking, Schon-dominated Eclipse:
“I think we have another album in us, I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page where we’re going, all going together. I think the last record we made was kind of a departure from what I think people want from Journey, so direction-wise we’ve got to get on the same page before we move forward.”
Schon, however, made it sound like that could be unlikely:
“If we can’t get on the same page as a band to do new music…I know Arnel is champing at the bit. So am I — always, as you know. If it’s not happening with Journey I’m in the studio doing something else for myself. But I feel that we should at least do from here out one song to two songs a year, new songs, even if we just release them as singles and get in a movie or something with it, just to keep things moving forward.”
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.