Journey's Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain have fired co-founding bassist Ross Valory and longtime drummer Steve Smith. The band issued a press release announcing the exit of the two musicians for an alleged attempted “coup d’état” of the band's corporate entity, Nightmare Productions, in hopes of securing control of the Journey name.
A letter was sent by Schon and Cain's attorney to Valory and Smith stating: “Effective immediately, you are no longer members of the band Journey and cannot perform under the name Journey. If you act in contravention of our clients’ rights, please be advised that we will take all legal steps to protect the rights of our clients.”
According to the legal brief: “The Complaint, filed by Miller Barondess, LLP in California Superior Court, accuses defendants Smith and Valory of sowing discord among the band members by engaging in self-dealing and selfishly putting their interests ahead of the band’s. The lawsuit seeks to enjoin a scheme by defendants to possess the rights to the Journey name and be paid without actually performing, and also seeks damages in excess of $10 million. If Smith and Valory had been successful it would have brought an end to a legendary band that has brought so much joy to millions of people all over the world. Given the circumstances Schon and Cain were left with no alternative but to take decisive action for themselves and Journey’s fans.”