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Journey Member Sues Longtime Bandmate for Charging $1M in Personal Costs to Shared Amex

todayJanuary 20, 2023

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Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain is suing longtime bandmate Neal Schon for allegedly spending over $1 million on the band’s shared American Express card, including $400,000 in a single month last year.

The new allegations came months after Schon sparked the legal battle by filing his own lawsuit accusing Cain of blocking access to “critical” financial records linked to the Amex account.

In a countersuit filed last week in California state court, Cain said it was Schon’s own actions that had led to those restrictions on his access to the Amex account, including “misusing” the card to deal with his own “financial problems as a result of an extravagant lifestyle.”

“Schon’s use of the [shared] AMEX card for personal expenses created serious liquidity problems for the band, as the AMEX balance had to be paid every month, and there were insufficient revenues to pay for other expenses as Schon saddled Journey with over $1 million of his personal expenses,” Cain’s lawyers wrote in the new complaint, filed Jan. 13.

Cain’s countersuit included a number of specific allegations about Schon’s spending habits. Once given access to the band Amex, Cain says Schon promptly spent over $100,000 in January 2022. Then in March, he allegedly spent a whopping $400,000 in charges at Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York City and other retailers.

At the end of a recent tour, Cain says Schon demanded suites at a Hawaiian hotel that cost north of $5,000 per night, then stayed a week longer than necessary and racked up more than $100,000 more in charges on the card.

In a statement to Billboard, Schon’s attorney Skip Miller called allegations “ridiculous” and “as phony as a three dollar bill.” He said the countersuit was merely “sour grapes” after a recent incident in which Schon demanded that Cain stop playing events for former President Donald Trump. “We want Cain to just focus on Journey and its fans,” Miller said.

Members of Journey have been sparring in court for years. Back in 2020, Schon and Cain teamed up to file a lawsuit against former drummer Steven Smith and former bassist Ross Valory over the band’s name. And in September, former lead singer Steve Perry took legal action to stop Schon and Cain from registering federal trademarks on the names of many of the band’s biggest hits. But in both of those cases, which have since settled, Schon and Cain were on the same team.

In October, Schon and Cain finally found themselves on opposite sides of the courtroom. In his complaint, Schon said Cain had unfairly blocked access to the Amex account, “interfering” with the band’s activities and delaying payments to crew members and vendors. “This action is brought to turn the lights on, so to speak,” Schon’s lawyers wrote at the time.

But in the new countersuit, Cain told his side of the story, arguing that it was Schon’s reckless spending that was interfering with the band’s activities.

“Schon’s charges placed considerable pressure on Journey and its ability to cover normal tour expenses,” his lawyers wrote. “Schon was spending Journey’s money, and Cain is the one who was and is ultimately liable for the AMEX Account and Schon’s charges on the AMEX Card.”

In technical terms, Cain is accusing Schon of breaching his fiduciary duty to the band’s shared corporate entity, called Nomota LLC, and of unjustly enriching himself at Cain’s expense.

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todayJanuary 20, 2023

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