Neal Schon Suing Journey Bandmate Jonathan Cain For Access To Corporate Amex

Karl Walter/Getty Images

Neal Schon Suing Journey Bandmate Jonathan Cain For Access To Corporate Amex

Karl Walter/Getty Images

Journey’s guitarist Neal Schon is suing bandmate Jonathan Cain, accusing him of blocking access to “critical” financial records. According to Billboard, Schon filed a lawsuit last month in California accusing Cain of refusing to give him access to records from an American Express account, through which “millions in Journey funds have flowed.”

“This action is brought to turn the lights on, so to speak, and obtain critical financial information Schon has been trying to obtain but has been denied,” the guitarist’s lawyers wrote in the complaint. “Schon has tried to avoid legal action, repeatedly requesting that Cain grant him access to the AMEX account [but] Cain has not been forthcoming and cooperative, making this action necessary.”

This is just the latest legal battle involving members of Journey. In 2020, Schon and Cain sued former drummer Steven Smith and former bassist Ross Valory, accusing them of an “attempted corporate coup d’état” to improperly use the Journey band name. The case ended last year with an “amicable settlement,” and Smith and Valory left the band.

Meanwhile, in September former lead singer Steve Perry (who left in 1998) tried to stop Schon and Cain from registering federal trademarks on the names of the band’s hits like “Anyway You Want It” and “Wheel In The Sky.”

Cain hasn’t responded to the accusation yet, but Journey are currently scheduled for a big tour with Toto next year. Now that Cain and Schon are pitted against each other in court, that could be awkward?

Schon’s lawyers also wrote: “Cain is interfering with Journey, refusing to respond to booking opportunities, blocking payment to band members, crew, and vendors, refusing to execute necessary operating documents, and in other ways as well.

“Cain has further refused to deal with critical, time-sensitive touring contracts for Journey’s 2023 tour and ensure payment for band members and crew, who Cain contends are ‘non-essential.’ Schon believes those band and crew who are crucial to the band’s success should be paid. Cain’s conduct is inexplicable.”

UPDATE: Jonathan Cain has responded to Neal Schon’s lawsuit with a statement, alleging that the lawsuit “has absolutely no merit” and that “Neal has always had access to the credit card statements; what he lacks — and what he is really seeking — is the ability to increase his spending limits.” See Cain’s full statement below.

This is a matter that should have been resolved privately, but I am forced to publicly respond now to Neal’s malicious lies and personal attacks on my family and I in an effort to garner public support for his ill-conceived lawsuit — a lawsuit that has absolutely no merit. Neal has always had access to the credit card statements; what he lacks — and what he is really seeking — is the ability to increase his spending limits. Since Neal decided to publicize what is going on, I can tell you we will present the evidence to the court that shows that Neal has been under tremendous financial pressure as a result of his excessive spending and extravagant lifestyle, which led to him running up enormous personal charges on the band’s credit card account. When efforts were made to limit his use of the card to legitimate band expenses, Neal unfortunately decided to attack me rather than trying to get his reckless spending under control. I am saddened by the situation — for Neal and for our fans — but since Neal filed a lawsuit, I suspect he will not be able to ignore the court like he has ignored the countless financial advisors and accountants he has fired over the past several years who have tried in vain to help him.

Likewise, Cain’s attorneys are seeking to disqualify Schon’s lawsuit, citing the guitarist’s “reckless spending.” Their statement is below:

The evidence will establish that Schon’s financial crisis has nothing to do with his professed “unfettered access to Nomota’s records.” Our investigation has established that Schon’s personal financial problems resulted solely from his reckless spending, including what preliminarily appears to be charging more than $1 million of improper personal expenses on the band’s corporate Nomota AMEX card. Schon’s complaint is the classic example of desperate people doing desperate things. It’s very unfortunate that Neal–and Neal alone–has created such difficulties for himself and his family through his profligate spending.

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