April 16, 2020

Attorneys representing Ross Valory, a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame musician and bass player for the iconic rock band JOURNEY, filed a cross-complaint in Contra Costa County Superior Court on April 6 against JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain. The cross-complaint attaches "evidence" that refutes the Schon and Cain allegations and sets forth multiple causes of action for monetary damages against Schon and Cain for the ramifications of their conduct in trying to "wrongfully" excise Valory from the band.

On March 3, Schon and Cain filed a lawsuit against Valory and drummer Steve Smith, who have been members of JOURNEY on and off since the band formed in 1973, claiming the two attempted a "coup" in order to gain control of the JOURNEY trademark. The suit, which seeks more than $10 million in damages, accuses Smith and Valory of holding an "improper" shareholder and board of directors meetings in February during which they ousted Cain and Schon from leadership posts at Nightmare Productions under the "incorrect" assumption that the company held the rights to the JOURNEY name. An answer filed by counsel defending Valory (Richard Charnley of Charnley Rian) against the complaint's allegations and the cross-complaint (filed by Andrew Spielberger of Balaban & Spielberger LLP) attempts to dispute and refute these allegations.

Over the last four decades, JOURNEY has reigned as one of America's most successful rock bands, producing ten platinum albums, eighteen Top 40 singles, and selling more than 75 million albums worldwide. JOURNEY formed in 1973, the same year it created Nightmare Productions Inc.

According to Valory's attorney Andrew Spielberger, "Ross is shocked and devastated by the conduct of his lifelong bandmates (Schon and Cain) and is disappointed that there was never any attempt to sit down and discuss what is most likely a misunderstanding and something that easily could have been worked out."

Valory has played with JOURNEY since the band's inception in 1973. Based on his extensive business and performance history with the group, his status as a director and/or officer and/or manager/member of the business entities that run JOURNEY, the promises made amongst the members of the band, the agreements made with tour promoters and corporations for special corporate shows, Valory has set forth multiple viable causes of action in his cross-complaint against Schon and Cain for monetary damages, including the financial loss of revenue from not performing with the band in the future.

"If there ever was a time to have perspective in this world about disagreements — it is now," Spielberger said. "Unfortunately, this disagreement between 'brothers' who have played music together for the past 35 to 45 years was not able to be resolved during the current coronavirus crisis when many are suffering. Ross feels horrible about this whole unnecessary ordeal. But he is a fighter and he has hired able counsel to defend and fight for his rights. I expect he will be vindicated and justice will prevail."

The full cross-complaint can be viewed at this location.

The only other remaining member of JOURNEY is singer Arnel Pineda, who joined the group in 2007.

Photo credit: Erik Kabik

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