It doesn’t look like Steve Perry will be singing with his old band anytime soon.
Journey guitarist Neal Schon has responded with a long and lengthy post and statement to ex-Journey singer Steve Perry’s recent legal action alleging that Schon and fellow bandmate Jonathan Cain falsely claimed full ownership of the trademarks on 20 of the group’s songs.
The trademarks, which include the rights to the names of “Open Arms,” “Anyway You Want It,” “Wheel in the Sky” and others, cover the use of those titles on T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and other merch items. Perry claims that Cain and Schon didn’t have the right to register trademarks for the song titles without his approval because the three musicians had signed a partnership agreement requiring all of them to consent unanimously to the use of the tunes for products or other purposes. Perry charges that Cain and Schon committed “fraud on the trademark office” by applying to register the song names without informing the agency of the true status of the ownership of the songs.
In the message, which was posted on Facebook, Schon calls Perry’s lawsuit “a bunch of total crap” while explaining that the conflict ties in with the dispute over control of the band’s name that led to the 2020 dismissal of longtime Journey bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith. Schon write that, at that time, Perry, Valory, Smith and band manager Herbie Herbert, who were part of Journey’s board of directors along with him and Cain, voted Schon and Cain off the board. “They all knew at this time I’d been investigating our [trademarks] for years trying to get to the bottom of all corruption as we (my wife and I) found that nothing had ever been [trademarked] besides our music,” Schon maintains, adding, “They all went for a take over and it didn’t work.”
Schon notes that his wife then “found a legitimate [trademark] attorney” who helped him attain the trademarks. Schon says he questions why Perry’s attorney, who also was Journey’s lawyer at that time, didn’t help the band secure those trademarks. “It was a giant corrupted ring of people that either [management] or accountants hired to work for us cashing in on all our merchandise till now,” Schon alleges, “all along knowing there was No [trademark] on our merch.” Neal concludes, “You haven’t heard the last of this friends. We are going to peel back the onion.”