Former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry says that he is against having the band's music used in political campaigns.
Perry took to his Twitter Friday night (July 3) to write: "As one of the songwriters of Don't Stop Believin', I have not given permission to any political candidate to use this song!"
Perry didn't indicate what prompted his tweet, but his objection came after "Don't Stop Believin'" was heard during the White House's Mount Rushmore event celebrating Independence Day. The song was played over the public address system while President Donald Trump was flying to the site on Marine One, the official presidential helicopter (see video below).
Several hours later, JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon, who co-wrote the 1981 hit with Perry and keyboardist Jonathan Cain, responded to Perry's tweet, writing: "Huh .., funny when I tried to stop it before a couple of years ago management told me you and [Perry's longtime attorney] Lee Phillips didn't want to mess with it... @NealSchonMusic so what makes it different now ?"
In the past, Schon has publicly voiced his opposition to having JOURNEY's music associated with political or religious causes. Back in 2017, he derided Cain on social media after the keyboardist, singer Arnel Pineda and bassist Ross Valory were photographed with Trump in the White House. Cain's wife, Paula White-Cain, is the president's self-styled spiritual adviser.
"I've stated how I felt about mixing religion and politics and how our music is not of one religion - Democratic or Republican," Schon wrote. "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 my self. Ross is no help."
Back in 2011, conservative politician Newt Gingrich used "Don't Stop Believin'" at a campaign event. Perry's legal reps sent a cease-and-desist letter. "They just think music is free like a lot of other people on the planet," Phillips told Variety.
In a 2009 interview with CBC's "Q" cultural affairs show, Perry said he always thought "Don't Stop Believing" — which is the top-selling digital download of a track not originally released in this century, according to Nielsen SoundScan — had potential as a single. It was always a hit with live audiences, though it didn't get great radio play at the time it was issued, he said.
"When we were doing the song in 1981, I knew something was happening, but honestly, when I saw it in the film 'Monster' with Patty Jenkins, I started think, 'Oh my goodness there's really something.'"
He added: "The lyric is a strong lyric about not giving up, but it's also about being young, it's also about hanging out, not giving up and looking for that emotion hiding somewhere in the dark that we're all looking for. It's about having hope and not quitting when things get tough, because I'm telling you things get tough for everybody."
Pineda, who has been fronting JOURNEY for 13 years, told CBS News in 2012, "Even before I discovered 'Don't Stop Believin'', it has been my motto — you know, to never stop believing in myself. The life that I've gone through, all those hardships, I never stopped believing that someday there is something magical that will happen in my life."
This past April, "Don't Stop Believin'" became a rallying call for patients recovering from COVID-19 at two hospitals in New York and Michigan. The song was played at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and the New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital during celebrations for patients prevailing over the coronavirus.