Journey principle members Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain have settled their lawsuit against former drummer and bassist Steve Smith and Ross Valory stemming from an alleged “attempted corporate coup d’état.”
Q Prime, Journey’s management representation, released a statement confirming the “amicable” settlement but not its terms. The statement read in part, “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.”
News of the lawsuit and the firing of Smith and Valory was released in a detailed press release back in March 2020. The press release stated Smith and Valory attempted a Board of Director’s takeover at Nightmare Productions, Inc., one of Journey’s corporate entities, and claimed Smith and Valory thought Nightmare Productions had control over the Journey trademark. However, Schon and Cain have the “sole, exclusive, irrevocable right to control the Journey Mark, including the Journey name.”
The press release added that with control of Nightmare Productions, Smith and Valory incorrectly believed they could seize control of the Journey name and force Schon, Cain and Nightmare Productions to provide them with wind-fall payments after their retirement; they wanted to be paid a share of Journey touring revenue in perpetuity under the guise of a licensing fee while they perform absolutely no work for the band.
Following the news of the lawsuit, Schon and Cain’s attorney Skip Miller said in a statement, “The contracts are clear on their face. The Journey name is controlled by Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain. And for very good cause, they don’t want to perform with Smith or Valory anymore, they don’t want to have anything to do with them, and that’s their right. They’re going to go on with Journey, continue with the great success of the past and these two guys are going to get replaced.”
In May 2020, Schon announced Randy Jackson and Narada Michael Walden would be the band’s new bassist and drummer, respectively.