Journey’s Neal Schon is holding on to his feeling of anger over three of his bandmates being “exploited” during a recent White House visit, leaving the future of the group’s current iteration in doubt.
On July 27, Arnel Pineda, Jonathan Cain, and Ross Valory took a tour of the White House and posed for an Oval Office photo with President Trump. Schon, the group’s guitarist and co-founder, hasn’t taken kindly to the news, sharing his anger over the perception that it was a visit from Journey as a whole and that his bandmates allowed politics to seep into the group.
“I will remain strong and consistent with the belief we’ve always shared and agreed upon – Journey should never be used and exploited by anyone, especially band members for politics or any one religion,” wrote Schon on Facebook last week. “I’ve been here since 1972 and this has always been our belief. This was with intent to exploit the brand and use the name. Journey was not there – 3 individual members were Cain Valory and Pineda whom I found … Tours are done all the time but it could have been privately.”
He continued, “The members who attended know my position and the way we’ve always been until now. Steve Perry myself and the rest have always agreed the music we created is for Everyone. As you can see the original picture below it states JOURNEY. I had no prior knowledge of this from anyone. Not band members or Management. This clearly shows no respect or Unity, just Divide.”
In the comments of the above post, he added, “So they didn’t want to make a spectacle about the visit as Journey? Press is NEVER allowed in the Oval Office. So sorry but this was planned and manipulated for the befit of ? …. u figure it out.”
Over the last week, Schon has continued to criticize the photo op, saying it goes “against what we’ve all stood for up until 2 years ago and Jon changed radically.” Cain, who originally joined Journey in 1980, has a strong connection to the White House; in 2015 he married Paula White, who delivered the invocation at Trump’s inauguration. Recently, Schon has repeatedly shared a Late Night clip of Seth Meyers questioning White’s credentials.
Schon insists his issue isn’t with Trump specifically, but with any politics becoming a part of Journey’s narrative. “I don’t have a problem with trump it’s All politics,” he tweeted. “We’ve never allowed this. It’s not smart to mix.”
Acknowledging he hasn’t heard from any of his bandmates, Schon was non-committal when asked about the future of the current lineup. “One way or the other I won’t be dealing with any more toxic shit,” he responded. “Done.”
Read more of Schon’s reactions below.