Word has it that bassist, Ross Valory, and drummer, Steven Smith, have been fired from legendary band Journey. This comes after guitar player Neal Schon and keyboardist Jon Cain filed a lawsuit against the two aforementioned members accusing them of attempting a “coup” in order to gain control of the band’s lucrative trademark. Schon and Cain are seeking damages in excess of $10 million, and have accused their now former bandmates of declaratory judgment and breach of fiduciary duty.
Valory and Smith have been accused of attempting to take control of the band’s trademark. This happened last month when the two “improperly” held meetings with shareholders and the board of directors of one of the band’s corporate entities called Nightmare Productions.
It is said that during these “improper” meetings, Smith was voted to replace Cain as board president and Valory was voted to replace Schon as secretary.
The complaint states that: “Smith and Valory erroneously contend that Nightmare Productions controls the Journey name. They hope to use Nightmare Productions to hold the Journey name hostage and force Cain, Schon and Nightmare Productions to provide them with wind-fall payments for their retirement.”
Schon and Cain have also accused their former bandmates of concocting a “malicious” and “very ill-conceived” scheme in order to “set themselves up for retirement.”
Smith and Valory were officially fired from Journey in a letter dated March 3th, and Skip Miller, the attorney for Schon and Cain, provided the following statement this week: “This is not an action that Neal and Jon wanted to bring against two men that they once considered their brothers, but the devious and truculent behavior of Steve and Ross left them reluctantly with no choice but to act decisively. Journey will continue on with great success by ridding the band of disruptive members and replacing them with top musicians; and most importantly, by keeping its essential members—Schon, Cain, and Pineda—fully intact.”
Formed in 1973 Journey, is one of the world’s biggest rock bands of all time. The band have scored 10 platinum albums, 18 Top 40 singles and sold over 75 million albums.