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Journey bring back bassist Randy Jackson

Journey with Randy Jackson in 1986
Journey with Randy Jackson in 1986 (Image credit: Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives - Getty)

Journey (opens in new tab)’s Neal Schon has confirmed that the band’s former bassist Randy Jackson has returned to the group.

In addition, drummer Narada Michael Walden has been brought into the fold to complete the new-look lineup.

The news comes after Ross Valory and Steve Smith were dismissed from Journey back in March (opens in new tab) over claims the pair had attempted a ”corporate coup d'état" to gain control of one of the band's business entities, Nightmare Productions, and take control of the Journey name.

Jackson played with Journey between 1985 and 1987, playing on the band’s 1986 album Raised On Radio, while Narada Michael Walden is known for his extensive production work and solo career, and has previously played with artists including Jeff Beck (opens in new tab), Carlos Santana (opens in new tab) and Robert Fripp (opens in new tab) and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Guitarist Schon said on Twitter (opens in new tab): “OK, friends, the word is out. Randy Jackson, the Big Dawg, is our new bass player again.”

He then added: “Narada Michael Walden is our new drummer. Multi-talented songwriter/producer, Mahavishnu Orchestra. The J Boyz will have a new strut.”

Replying to comment that Journey were an “ever-changing unstoppable force,” Schon replied: "Couldn’t agree more. This is a completely new chapter for us and can’t wait to get to it.”

Jackson and Walden made their Journey debuts when the band played a lockdown version of Don’t Stop Believin’ for a UNICEF fundraising event on Saturday evening. 

In legal papers filed at the Superior Court of Contra Costa County, California, against Valory and Smith in March, Schon and keyboard player Jonathan Cain said they had “lost confidence in both of them and are not willing to perform with them again."

The claim continued, "With their actions, Smith and Valory have destroyed the chemistry, cohesion and rapport necessary for the band to play together. Journey can only tour successfully and succeed creatively if it is united and the band members trust one another. The actions taken by Smith and Valory shattered that trust.”

Last month, Valory countersued Schon and Cain (opens in new tab), calling the allegations “baseless,” Schon and Cain’s actions “outrageous” with the pair causing “him to suffer severe emotional distress.”

The King is back 💪🏾🕶 @randyjackson 🔥🔥 Neal Schon Music (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by @nealschon on May 23, 2020 at 11:14pm PDT

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.