Journey will return to the road for their 50th anniversary tour later this month, but there’s been plenty of talk about who exactly will be taking part in that run. Amidst a legal battle between guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist-guitarist Jonathan Cain over the band’s finances, Schon has been pushing for the return of keyboardist Gregg Rolie on the run. Now, the guitarist’s wife has revealed that Rolie’s return remains a bone of contention within the group.
In a Facebook post to their shared site, Michaele Schon starts off by commenting how precious life is after the recent death of Jeff Beck. The subject then quickly turns to the band’s touring, with Michaele laying out that “two band members of the Journey current lineup are ‘adamant no’ against Gregg Rolie to return.”
She follows that statement offering, “Life is so precious, Neal and Gregg agree. Who wants to have that feeling, truly sad. Music is for inspiration and joy! Everyone loves you Gregg Rolie and respects who you are and all you have been and are to Journey, for without you picking up Neal Schon from school, Journey would not exist.”
She goes on to add, “Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie will be somewhere together at least one time this year in honor of what they began in 1972. Faith, let’s ask God to find a way for them. Let’s pray for forgiveness for those who hurt Gregg Rolie and hope they learn what spirituality is someday. We all love you.”
The talk of Rolie’s return has surfaced in the midst of publicly aired tensions between Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain.
Back in October, it was announced that Journey would be hitting the road in 2023 with Toto as part of their 50th anniversary tour. Then, a month later, news of Schon’s lawsuit against Cain was revealed. The guitarist claimed that he had been denied access to the band’s financial records and that Cain had set up an American Express card under the group’s name without telling him and that “millions of Journey funds had flowed through it.”
Cain countered publicly that Schon’s “reckless spending” was at the issue of their dispute, and that he always had access to the financial records but was seeking an extension of his spending limits.
Soon after, Schon began teasing the possibility of Gregg Rolie’s return to the band for their 50th anniversary tour. Rolie plays keyboards and preceded Cain in the group. Then, just last week, while teasing the upcoming tour, Schon confirmed to a fan about the Rolie return rumors, “You’ll be seeing him.”
Also of note amongst the band’s in-fighting is that Schon filed a cease-and-desist against Cain after the keyboardist took part in a sing-along of “Don’t Stop Believin'” with several right wing politicians at an event at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Cain’s wife, televangelist Paula White-Cain is Trump’s former spiritual advisor. Schon has also accused White-Cain of unlawfully accessing the band’s bank account, claiming that her “signature has appeared on purported Journey-related bank documents since at least July 2020.”
Earlier this week, Cain posted on social media that he was enjoying some time on the ski slopes before “hitting the road with Journey,” which would suggest that he intends on remaining with the group despite the current tensions and Schon’s talk of bringing Rolie back.
The most recent lineup of Journey features Schon and Cain, along with singer Arnel Pineda, drummer Deen Castronovo, bassist Todd Jensen and keyboardist Jason Derlatka. The band issued their first new album in 11 years, Freedom, last year. Tickets for the 50th anniversary tour, which also features Toto, are currently available here.
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