Thursday, April 16, 2020

Journey bassist countersues bandmates over firing

Bassist Ross Valory is countersuing his former Journey bandmates, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain, over his recent firing after he was involved in an alleged corporate takeover of the San Francisco group with drummer Steve Smith.

Schon and Cain filed a lawsuit on March 3 claiming the group’s rhythm section began a campaign to take control of the band’s Nightmare Productions in December 2019 by conspiring to oust the leaders from power, culminating in a February 13, 2020 meeting where they allege Valory and Smith “held improper shareholder and Board of Directors meetings” that saw the defendants and their allies vote to give Smith and Valory control of the Board, removing Cain as President and replacing him with Smith, and removing Schon as Secretary and replacing him with Valory.

Journey – who are seeking damages in excess of $10 million – claim the duo used Nightmare Productions “as a tool to destroy the fabric of the band”, and that their actions “have destroyed the chemistry, cohesion and rapport necessary for the band to play together”; as a result, Schon and Cain removed Smith and Valory from Journey by letter dated March 3, 2020.

Represented by attorney Andrew Spielberger of Balaban & Spielberger, Valory filed a Cross-Complaint in Contra Costa County Superior Court on April 6 against Schon and Cain that attaches evidence that refutes the pair’s allegations and sets forth multiple causes of action for monetary damages, including the financial loss of revenue from not performing with the band in the future.

“Ross is shocked and devastated by the conduct of his lifelong bandmates (Schon and Cain),” says Spielberger in a statement, “and is disappointed that there was never any attempt to sit down and discuss what is most likely a misunderstanding and something that easily could have been worked out.

“If there ever was a time to have perspective in this world about disagreements, it is now. Unfortunately, this disagreement between ‘brothers’ who have played music together for the past 35 to 45 years was not able to be resolved during the current Coronavirus crisis when many are suffering.

“Ross feels horrible about this whole unnecessary ordeal,”
he adds. “But he is a fighter and he has hired able counsel to defend and fight for his rights. I expect he will be vindicated and justice will prevail.”

Journey formed in 1973, the same year it created Nightmare Productions Inc., which holds the rights to the band’s trademark and other intellectual properties.
See also:

VIDEO: Anthrax singer launches Journey tribute band Journey Beyond
Journey fire bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith
Rock News Artist Of The Year No. 3: JOURNEY
Rock News Story Of The Year No. 3: STEVE PERRY
Search Journey at hennemusic
Search Steve Perry at hennemusic