Last night (July 3), he tweeted, “As one of the songwriters of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ I have not given permission to any political candidate to use this song!”
While Perry didn’t specify what prompted his objection, his tweet came after the song was heard at President Donald Trump‘s stop at Mt. Rushmore, playing over the public address system as the president was flying to the site on Marine One, the presidential helicopter. Video from the event is embedded below, with the song beginning shortly before the two-hour, 36-minute mark.
Perry’s tweet earned a response from Schon, who wrote, “Huh .., funny when I tried to stop it before a couple of years ago management told me you and Lee Phillips didn’t want to mess with it… @NealSchonMusic so what makes it different now?”
Schon has long been against assigning Journey’s music to political or religious beliefs. Three years ago, he publicly feuded with Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain after Cain, Pineda and bassist Ross Valory visited Trump in the White House. Cain’s wife, Paula White-Cain, is the president’s spiritual adviser.
“I’ve stated how I felt about mixing religion and politics and how our music is not of one religion – Democratic or Republican,” Schon said. “This is and has been an issue with myself Mr. Cain and his now wife, since he married. 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 my self. Ross is no help.”
By February 2018, the duo had apparently settled the issue, with Cain calling it one of many “bumps in the road” in their long relationship. “You have to weather it and overcome it.”
Longtime Trump critic Neil Young continued taking exception to his songs used by the Trump campaign. He retweeted someone’s videos of “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Like a Hurricane” during last night’s event, adding “This is not OK with me…” and “I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is not OK with me,” referring to the Native American protesters who say that the Black Hills of South Dakota, on which Mt. Rushmore sits, were taken from the Lakota.
Deadline reports that “Cowgirl in the Sand” was also heard at Mt. Rushmore, although Young did not offer a comment.