Journey’s Neal Schon Hits Bandmate With Cease-and-Desist Order for Trump Rally Performance of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’

The Mar-a-Lago happening featured a backup chorus of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Kari Lake

Neal Schon Jonathan Cain journey
Journey's Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain (Getty Images)

Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain has been served a cease-and-desist order by bandmate Neal Schon’s attorney.

Cain’s performance of the band’s 1981 hit song “Don’t Stop Believin’” at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property with a backup chorus of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Don Trump Jr. fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle and former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake prompted the letter.

The missive, obtained Wednesday by TheWrap, begins by outlining that by appearing in Trump videos and playing Journey songs for the former president, Cain has made it seem like the full membership of Journey supports Trump.

“Although Mr. Cain is free to express his personal beliefs and associations, when he does that on behalf of Journey or for the band, such conduct is extremely deleterious to the Journey brand as it polarizes the band’s fans and outreach. Journey is not, and should not be, political,” the letter continues. “Mr. Cain’s unauthorized affiliation of Journey with the politics of Donald Trump has the band’s fans up in arms, as is demonstrated by a sample of the attached emails and Twitter comments. This has caused, and continues to cause, irreparable harm to the Journey brand, its fan base and earning potential, especially in light of the forthcoming tour.

“Mr. Cain has no right to use Journey for politics. His politics should be his own personal business. He should not be capitalizing on Journey’s brand to promote his personal political or religious agenda to the detriment of the band,” the letter adds before expressing that the senders do not wish to ‘add to the animosity’ between the two bandmates. 

The song, which experienced a resurgence after it graced the soundtrack of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” nearly 30 years after its initial release, has been used in previous parts of Trump’s campaign, including rallies.

“Schon is just frustrated that he keeps losing in court and is now falsely claiming the song has been used at political rallies,” a spokesperson for Cain said.

Schon and former lead singer Steve Perry have previously disapproved of the use of the song in association with Trump’s campaign. Earlier in the fall, Schon — Journey’s founding lead guitarist — aired a disagreement with Cain about the band’s American Express card.

Schon sued Cain under the claim that he had been “improperly restricted” in access to the Journey American Express card and its records.

“Schon has tried to avoid legal action, repeatedly requesting that Cain grant him access to the AMEX account,” the filing said. “For many months, Cain and his representatives have represented that Schon would be granted access. But every time Schon contacted AMEX, AMEX informed him that he was still not authorized to access AMEX account records.”

These are just two of the more recent tiffs between members of the band, which has suffered more broadly from other contensions between the same and different bandmates.

In 2020, Schon addressed the use of the anthem by Trump, whose spiritual advisor Paula White has been married to Cain for eight years.

“I’ve stated how I felt about mixing religion and politics and how our music is not of one religion — Democratic or Republican. This is and has been an issue with myself, Mr. Cain and his wife,” Schon said. “I’ve had to fight this whole time to protect the brand I built with Steve Perry, way before Gregg [Rolie] and I picked Cain to replace himself when he wanted to retire from the road back then. Well frankly, I’m tired of having to defend all by myself.”

Variety first reported the news.

For the record: The headline for a previous version of this story misidentified Neal Schon. He is Journey’s lead guitarist.