Journey are suing each other again: this time it's Neal Schon vs Jonathan Cain

Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain in 2021`
(Image credit: David Becker/Getty Images)

According to court documents filed in the County of Contra Costa in California, Journey guitarist Neal Schon is suing guitarist/keyboardist Jonathan Cain over access to the band's financial records.

"Plaintiff Schon is the leader and original founding member of the iconic American rock band Journey," states the filing. "This action is brought to turn the lights on, so to speak, and obtain critical financial information Schon has been trying to obtain but has been denied."

The document goes on to claim that Cain set up an American Express account without telling Schon, and that "millions of Journey funds have flowed through it." The document states that Journey is operated via the business entity Nomota, LLC, a 50/50 partnership between Cain and Schon, and that the latter should have full access to any business accounts.

Later, the filing claims that, "Cain is interfering with Journey, refusing to respond to booking opportunities, blocking payment to band members, crew, and vendors, refusing to execute necessary operating documents, and in other ways as well. Cain has obstructed Schon from viewing expenses incurred by Cain and his touring party on band tours. 

"Cain has further refused to deal with critical, time-sensitive touring contracts for Journey’s 2023 tour and ensure payment for band members and crew, who Cain contends are 'non-essential.' Schon believes those band and crew who are crucial to the band’s success should be paid. 

"Cain’s conduct is inexplicable. Under these circumstances, Cain cannot be the only one with access to Nomota’s financial records. It is vital that Schon and his representatives have immediate access to all of Nomota’s financial records so that Journey’s finances can be properly managed and so that Journey continues its established success as the band that Schon has led since 1973. 

"Nomota’s AMEX account was set up by Cain, without Schon’s consent or knowledge, with only Cain as the account holder. Cain set up the account so that only he is authorised to access the records and information for the account. Cain has blocked Schon from access. AMEX has informed Schon that it cannot release information to Schon."

The lawsuit ends by asking that Schon is full access to Nomota's financial records, that all future revenues should be split 50/50 as agreed, that Schon's legal fees should be covered, and that he should be granted "further relief as the Court may deem proper and just."

Last year Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain reach an ‘amicable’ agreement with former Journey members Steve Smith and Ross Valory, who were were sacked from the band in March 2020 following claims that they had attempted to stage a "corporate coup d'état" to gain control of another one of the band's business entities, Nightmare Productions.

Valory responded to the suit the following month by filing legal papers of his own, calling the allegations “baseless,” and Schon and Cain’s actions “outrageous”, claiming that pair had caused him to "suffer severe emotional distress."

In 2015, Schon sued the city of San Francisco over a $240,000 fee to use a local landmark for his December 2013 wedding to reality tv star Michaele Salahi. City supervisors paid Schon $290,000 to settle the suit. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.