BIG Music News: Journey, Steppenwolf

JOURNEY:  Are they coming apart?

Neal Schon continues to rip into his bandmate Jonathan Cain, as well as the other members, and now even some fans.  

Schon writes, "I will remain strong and consistent with the belief we've always shared and agreed upon -- Journey should never be used and exploited by anyone, especially band members for politics or any one religion."

"I've been here since 1972 and this has always been our belief. This [visit] was with intent to exploit the brand and use the name."

Schon is also getting into it with some fans.  One fan, Barb Maciel writes, "I agree there is no Journey without you but I lose a LOT of respect for you when you 'stir the pot' by putting this out. Creating division."

Neal says he is "not stirring the pot. It's now time for the truth for all I have endured this year, enough is enough. Exposing any abusive, malicious behavior."

When told that Journey would be better off without him, he said, "Great they can grab whom ever they want but I'm not some studio sausage ... good luck. They will not tour as Journey."

Journey's next tour is tentatively scheduled to start next May.

STEPPENWOLF:  Band celebrate 50th anniversary of "Born To Be Wild"

Steppenwolf will rock the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Saturday night as the "Born to be Wild" band celebrates its 50th anniversary. Frontman John Kay lived in Nashville for many years and grew to appreciate the Ryman. He says it ranks with the world's greatest theaters.

"We played Carnegie Hall, we have played the Royal Albert Hall, London. Iconic venues. The Ryman has something very special. It's a very special. It has its own aura and history. The way it's built and laid out, with the arched, kind of horseshoe arrangement of a large balcony, protrudes over the lower level seats and everything else. It's almost like a very very large club."

John Kay is proud that Steppenwolf appealed to different groups of fans, from "teenagers who saw us on the Ed Sullivan Show" to soldiers who bought cassettes of their music "at the PXs and took them tapes with them" onto the battlefields of Vietnam, as well as ones who took the band's Monster album to heart at time America was rocked by protests.

Though only the band's current lineup will play at Saturday night's anniversary show, Kay says several original and past members, such as Michael Monarch and Larry Byrom, will be introduced to the audience. As we've reported, original keyboardist Goldy McJohn passed away this week.

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