JOURNEY keyboardist Jonathan Cain has fired back at his bandmate Neal Schon after the JOURNEY guitarist called him a "hypocrite" for performing the band's 1981 hit song "Don't Stop Believin'" at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property. Cain, whose wife, Paula White-Cain, is the former president's self-styled spiritual adviser, played the track late last month with a backup chorus of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Donald Trump Jr.'s fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle and former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
Earlier today, Cain released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET: "Neal Schon should look in the mirror when he accuses me of causing harm to the JOURNEY brand. I have watched him damage our brand for years and am a victim of both his — and his wife's — bizarre behavior. Neal sued Live Nation twice, losing both times, and damaging our ability to ever work with them again; Neal outrageously tried to take away trademarks from Steve Perry; Neal and his wife continually insult the professionalism of numerous accountants, road managers, and management firms with endless legal threats and their bullying, toxic, and incoherent emails; Neal argues online with fans who don't see eye to eye with him; and Neal and his wife recklessly spend JOURNEY's money until there is none left for operating costs. If anyone is destroying the JOURNEY brand, it is Neal — and Neal alone."
Cain's statement comes just a couple of days after an attorney for Schon sent a cease-and-desist order to Jonathan in a bid to prevent him from using JOURNEY's music at political events.
Variety obtained the letter served to Cain, which accuses him of politicizing the band. Part of it reads as follows: "Although Mr. Cain is free to express his personal beliefs and associations, when he does that on behalf of JOURNEY or for the band, such conduct is extremely deleterious to the JOURNEY brand as it polarizes the band’s fans and outreach. JOURNEY is not, and should not be, political."
"Mr. Cain has no right to use JOURNEY for politics. His politics should be his own personal business. He should not be capitalizing on JOURNEY's brand to promote his personal political or religious agenda to the detriment of the band."
Responding to the order, a representative for Cain said: "Schon is just frustrated that he keeps losing in court and is now falsely claiming that the song has been used at political rallies."
"Now he's claiming I keep losing in court?" Schon tweeted later. "Infuckingsane. Get off the Kool-Aid. Wow - lies after lies. I've won one case in court with Cain and the residing one has not been heard yet. … Judge did not feel it was an emergency. Zero ruling." Schon also shared a link to a 2017 interview with Cain, adding, "Have a listen right around 9:25 minutes. Jonathan Cain himself talking about politics and religion not a good idea with our music. One word – hypocrite – just have a listen."
In the 2017 video interview, which was conducted in the studios of the radio station ONE FM 91.3, Cain can be heard saying: "We're not political; we don't get into politics. We try to stay in our lane, and I just think that's the best answer we can give you."
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 then-bassist Ross Valory were photographed with Trump in the White House.
"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."
Two years ago, former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry also said that he was against having the band's music used in political campaigns. Perry took to his Twitter 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 in 2020. The song was played over the public address system while then-president Donald Trump was flying to the site on Marine One, the official presidential helicopter.
Several hours later, Schon, who co-wrote the 1981 hit with Perry and 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 ?"
The latest legal move comes a few weeks after Schon filed a lawsuit against Cain in California state court, alleging that Cain set up an American Express card without telling Schon and that "millions of JOURNEY funds have flowed through it." Cain, for his part, accused Schon of misusing the card, citing his "excessive spending and extravagant lifestyle."