As one of the all-time greatest bands, Journey’s 2024 Freedom Tour could be a swan song for the group.
A fight between original member Neal Schon and longtime collaborator Jonathan Cain threatens to upset their plans.
Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the fraught history of Journey to see if their tour can go off without a hitch.
Let’s start believin’!
The History of Journey
Formed in 1973 by former Santana guitarist Neal Schon, Ross Valory, Prairie Prince, and George Tickner, Journey’s legacy began over 50 years ago. Primarily an instrumental project, the group brought on Greg Rollie, another former Santana member, on keys and vocals.
Their early albums were jazz-rock fusion records that played to limited audiences. But in 1977, with the rise of acts like Boston and Foreigner, they saw the writing on the wall. They brought on a singer from San Francisco named Steve Perry. His soaring tenor brought them to the mainstream with their 1978 release, Infinity.
As Rollie saw his way out, several lineup changes brought Cain in on keys and vocals. A series of popular recordings followed with Evolution in 1979, Departure in 1980, and Escape in 1981. One of their most famous songs, Don’t Stop Believin’, came from that album.
They toured stadiums around the globe for several years and even more records. Frontiers in 1983 and Raised on Radio in 1986 were successful by most measures.
A Rift Forms
But tensions grew within the band, and when Perry left in 1987, they went on hiatus. Schon and Cain formed a new group, Bad English, and Perry faded off into the sunset for a while.
In 1996, Journey reunited to release Trial by Fire and planned a massive tour. But Perry injured his hip hiking in Hawaii and asked them to postpone. Instead of waiting for him, the other members found a new singer and carried on unfaithfully.
Other singers played with them, including Steve Augeri and Jeff Scott Soto. Then, Schon announced a new singer in a story practically made for the Internet. Arnel Pineda, an unknown Filipino artist he discovered online, became the voice of Journey.
Deep Dive: Who Is Journey’s New Lead Singer?
By 2022, they’d released three albums with Pineda center stage and planned an epic performance lineup around the Freedom record.
In September of the following year, they announced their 2024 Freedom Tour. Spanning 30 cities across the United States, it promises to be everything fanatics expect. Celebrating their golden anniversary on the road seems like the perfect way to recognize the impact of their music.
However, a feud between Schon and Cain might derail the band on this journey.
What Happened With Steve Perry and Journey?
Perry and his bandmates worked hard to make Journey one of the most successful acts of the late 70s and 80s. But after singing for millions of fans, he decided to pursue a solo career. While he didn’t see the same fame as his former group, he kept at it.
In the mid-1990s, they decided to reunite and recorded Trial by Fire in anticipation of a tour. Perry’s injury put all of that in jeopardy.
Doctors suggested surgery as a quick fix, but he wanted to try alternative methods before going under the knife. According to Perry, they pressured him to make a fast decision he wasn’t prepared to make.
The band that fans knew and loved was gone. The group left Perry to recover from his hiking accident and charted a new course.
Don’t expect him to have a cameo on Journey’s latest tour. He’s adamant that he’s finished with them. In a Rolling Stone article, he says, “You can still love someone but not want to work with them.”
And that’s all he has to say on the matter.
About Journey’s Freedom Tour
Prog-rock fans can get their airbrushed vans out of storage and grow out their hair because Journey is back on the road. In some ways, they’ve never left, performing consistently for the last few decades. But their Freedom Tour 2024 celebrates 50 years of music, so it’s also a homecoming.
While the record came out in 2022, these concerts have something for all devotees. Journey’s Freedom Tour officially started in February of 2022, and they’ve been playing dates since.
The official 2024 version features Toto as a special guest. However, a long-running fight between Schon and Cain meant a few others were along for the ride. Off-duty police officers guarding their dressing rooms were an unexpected twist at the 2022 shows. We’ll have to wait and see if they appear on the next leg.
Which Journey song made our list? The Greatest 80s Love Songs.
Who Is Singing for Journey on the Freedom Tour?
Arnel Pineda is the official lead singer of Journey, as he’s been since 2008. But former member Greg Rollie performed on a stop in Austin, Texas. Since he lives in the city, he dropped in for a five-song encore in February 2022.
Sitting behind his beloved Hammond organ, he crooned Just the Same Way, Of a Lifetime, Feeling That Way, Anytime, and Santana’s Black Magic Woman. Fans were ecstatic that there might be a more extended reunion, but that wasn’t the case. Two members of the band were opposed to him appearing at all.
Perry won’t be returning, that much is sure. Pineda also let his frustration be known. After nearly 15 years with the group, he’s annoyed that listeners still dream of yesteryear. “I’m with the band to sing the legacy…they can fire me anytime,” he says on Loudwire.
For now, at least, he’s still belting out the hits and taking his time in the spotlight one day at a time.
Why Are Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain Fighting?
During the run-up to the 2020 election, Schon and Cain had a public fight that still threatens to disrupt Journey’s tour. After stating in interviews that their music shouldn’t be political, Cain changed his tune. Playing Don’t Stop Believing at Trump rallies, he came out in strong support of the former president.
Schon was enraged. He called Cain a hypocrite and even published old interviews proving his point. All of the back and forth boiled over into courtrooms and dressing rooms.
It isn’t the first time the two have been at odds. Together, they drove out former members Ross Valory and Steve Smith in 2020. Then, they turned on each other.
Cain found Schon’s assistant snooping around his dressing room and hired off-duty cops to guard his belongings. That wasn’t a leap because Neal and his wife had already done the same.
The two leaked financial records and credit card statements and even briefly lost access to their corporate bank account. But they can still share the stage night after night, hopefully through the end of Freedom Tour 2024.
However, if you’re hoping to catch the band on stage, you might want to consider ticket insurance.
Read Cain’s tell-all: Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations
Journey’s Freedom Tour Could Go Either Way
This band’s music is the soundtrack of many smoky rooms around the world. Their current lead singer even got his start doing karaoke covers of the group in the Philippines. But Journey’s Freedom Tour 2024 might be at risk because of a fight between key members Schon and Cain.
As long as they can keep it together and stay out of politics, we hope they’ll be playing long into 2024. But it’s a good thing their schedule ends in April 2024. We’re not sure they’ll survive until November!