Journey’s Ross Valory And Steve Smith Fired From Band
via Rock & Roll Hall of Fame/YouTube
Over Alleged “Ill-Conceived” Coup
Journey’s Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain sacked longtime members Ross Valory And Steve Smith for allegedly attempting a coup so they could take control of the trademarked band name. In a lawsuit filed by law firm Miller Barondess in the Superior Court of Contra Costa County, California, lawyers representing Schon and Cain are seeking damages in excess of $10 million.
According to the lawsuit, “In 1998, Schon, Cain and [former singer Steve] Perry entered into a written agreement providing Schon and Cain the sole, exclusive, irrevocable right to control the Journey Mark, including the Journey name. They are, therefore, authorised to perform together as Journey, with or without anyone else. Defendants Smith and Valory were members of Journey at various times during the band’s history. Collectively, they only have a very few song credits on Journey albums. Nevertheless, they were compensated generously for many years.
“Recently, however, defendants attempted to launch an ill-conceived corporate coup d’état to assume control of Nightmare Productions because they incorrectly believe that Nightmare Productions controls the Journey name and Mark. They hope that, by taking over Nightmare Productions, they can hold the Journey name hostage and set themselves up with a guaranteed income stream after they stop performing. Smith and Valory began their campaign to take control of Nightmare Productions in December 2019 by conspiring to oust Schon and Cain from control.”
Steve Smith and Ross Valory currently have no response or comment. They were fired on March 3, 2020.