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Anna Karamazina

26.11.2022 15:00

Journey Guitarist Advises His Bandmate to Avoid Politics inside the Rock Group

A cease-and-desist letter was sent in response to keyboardist Jonathan Cain's participation at a Mar-a-Lago function.

Journey guitarist Neal Schon has asked his bandmate to cease performing Journey songs at political gatherings.

Mr. Schon's lawyer submitted a cease-and-desist letter to the band's keyboardist, Jonathan Cain, after he played "Don't Stop Believin'" at a Mar-a-Lago event attended by former President Donald Trump. The letter contains a Twitter video of Mr. Cain performing and singing the song on stage.

This is what the latter (dated December 16) states: “Although Mr. Cain is free to express his personal beliefs and associations, when he does that on behalf of Journey or for the band, such conduct is extremely deleterious to the Journey brand as it polarizes the band’s fans and outreach. Journey is not, and should not be, political.”

Mr. Schon also tweeted that Journey's music should not be associated with politics. "To me our music is sacred and for all," he concluded.

In the following response, Mr. Cain deflected: "Neal Schon should look in the mirror when he accuses me of causing harm to the Journey brand".

There are more artists who have objected to their songs being played at political gatherings. In 2016, the Rolling Stones requested Donald Trump not to play their songs at rallies while he was running for office. Former President George W. Bush received a cease-and-desist letter from Tom Petty about the usage of his song "I Won't Back Down" throughout Mr. Bush's 2000 race.

The letter from Mr. Schon's attorney stated that Journey's apparent association with Trump made their fans very angry. It provided a list of tweets from accounts of numerous people who stopped supporting the band as a result.

The cease-and-desist letter reasons that this “has caused, and continues to cause, irreparable harm to the Journey brand, its fan base and earning potential, especially in light of the forthcoming tour.”

Journey's 50th anniversary tour will be led by Schon and Cain next year. Schon, Cain, and also former lead vocalist Steve Perry wrote "Don't Stop Believin'" together. It was released in 1981 and returned decades later in the last episode of HBO's classic show "The Sopranos", as well as the first episode of the TV show "Glee."

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