Jonathan Cain Recalls Moment Steve Perry Quit Journey
Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain’s new memoir includes his recollection of the moment singer Steve Perry announced he was quitting the band.
Writing about the 1987 incident in Don't Stop Believin': The Man, the Band and the Song That Inspired Generations -- which will be published on May 1 -- Cain said that Perry had called him and guitarist Neal Schon and asked them to meet him in a location near Richardson Bay in San Francisco.
“Guys, we’re done,” Cain recalled Perry telling him and Schon (via Rolling Stone). “We can’t get any bigger. If we keep going, we’re going to end up some classic rock nostalgia band. We’ll end up just being a memory -- a shadow of what we used to be.”
The book also tells how Perry, who later returned, had warned his colleagues that if they toured using the Journey name while he was recovering from a hip injury in 1996, he’d almost certainly never perform with them again. “Don’t fracture the stone. I don’t think I can come back if you break it,” the singer is reported to have said. He hasn't performed with the band since.
Cain also discussed the creation of the Journey classic “Don’t Stop Believin,’” noting that he had written the title down after his father said it during a phone call in the ‘70s, but he didn't use it for a song until 1981. “I came up with a cool chord progression and and started humming the lyric, 'Don't stop believin', hold onto that feeling,' over the changes,” he said. “I didn't know what the other lyrics were yet, but I planned to show the guys the idea anyway.”
He told Rolling Stone that the idea for the book had come from Journey bassist Ross Valory. “I'd be on the bus a lot with Ross and often I'd just start reminiscing about my life," he said. "I'd talk about growing up in my Italian neighborhood and going to Dick Clark shows and listening to Wolfman Jack. I think it was Ross that said to me, 'You should write a book.'"
Journey recently announced a U.S. tour with Def Leppard.