Journey fired drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory, who, in and out, have been in formation since the 1970s. The information was confirmed in a press release by a lawyer representing guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain.
Schon and Cain are accusing Smith and Valory of trying to deliver a corporate scam to gain control of one of Journey’s companies, Nightmare Productions. The dismissed musicians are being sued, with claims for damages exceeding $ 10 million.
The lawsuit points out that Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain have, since 1998, been solely responsible for controlling Journey as a brand. Including the band’s name. Thus, they are the only musicians authorized to use the name of the group. Even without other original or classic members.
The lawsuit points out that Steve Smith and Ross Valory attempted to take a coup to control Nightmare Productions. Because they mistakenly believed that the company controlled the Journey name and brand. “They thought they could hold the name Journey hostage and guarantee income after they stopped doing shows,” says the text of the lawsuit.
In December 2019, according to the prosecution, the two musicians conspired for Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain to be removed from the control of Nightmare Productions. “With that, Smith and Valory destroyed the chemistry, cohesion and relationship needed for the band to play together,” he says.
So far, Steve Smith and Ross Valory have not spoken. The drummer joined Journey in 1978, staying until 1985. He returned in 1995, left again in 1998 and resumed his post in 2015. The bassist, in turn, has been part of the group since its inception in 1973, also leaving formation in 1985. He returned in 1995 and has followed since then.