Ross Valory Files Countersuit Against Journey’s Neil Schon and Jonathan Cain
Last month, many fans were shocked when Journey members Ross Valory and Steve Smith were fired from the band for what a lawsuit called a “corporate coup d’etat.” Founding member Neil Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain claimed that the rhythm section members were attempting to take control of the Journey name. Now the plot has thickened as Valory has countersued.
“Ross is shocked and devastated by the conduct of his lifelong bandmates (Schon and Cain) 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,” Valory’s attorney, Andrew Spielberger, told BusinessWire.
The cross-complaint states that Valory was acting to protect the Journey brand – namely from Schon himself. It suggests Schon tried to obtain the Journey Mark himself to have the rights and benefits of the name. He recently launched a solo project called Journey Through Time.
“Valory’s lawyer says he and Smith were only trying to protect the Journey brand from being diluted by ventures like Schon’s. Spielberger adds that if Schon and Cain’s claims were true, Steve Perry (who was represented at the board meeting in question by his own lawyer) would not have voted in favor of the action, which he did,” iHeartRadio explains. “Valory further contends that despite the ouster by Schon and Cain, he is still a rightful member of the board of Nightmare Productions and of Journey. His lawyer says he was ‘merely participating in a legitimate vote to change the number of directors of Nightmare Productions Inc.'”
The countersuit also says Journey was expected to make $50 million this year and that firing Valory was an effort by Schon and Cain to increase their shares.
“If there ever was a time to have perspective in this world about disagreements—it is now,” Spielberger concludes. “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. 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.”