Jonathan Cain Blames Fans For Steve Perry’s Journey Split

Jonathan Cain thinks Steve Perry left Journey due to fame and fans.

The keyboardist recently spoke to WOUB’s Nicholas Kobe and reflected on whether there were any surprises for him about the direction Journey has taken:

“I mean, I think the biggest shock for me was Steve Perry retiring. I had to scratch my head when that happened, when he just said, ‘I’ve had enough. I’m burned out. I don’t want to go on.’ I would’ve never bet in a million years that I would hear that from him. That was the biggest shocker.”

Then, he shared Perry’s mood on their last tour:

“He was willing to just let it all go. After a couple of Platinum Records and a successful tour. He had the most fun I think he’s ever had on the ‘Raised on Radio’ tour in ’87. That was the last tour. He really had fun. I mean, it’s the first time he didn’t have, Sherrie [Sawfford, Steve Perry’s ex-girlfriend] telling him he was lousy and all the stuff she did.”

Cain Thinks Steve Was Fragile

He continued, talking about fame and fans’ impact on the singer:

“It just seemed like he was fragile and the fame seemed to consume him. He didn’t like being hounded by fans. I think he really enjoyed that last tour, and that’s why I say that was a shock after such a great run. Then Neal [Schon] and I looking at each other going, ‘Now what?’ So we did other things and then, of course, ‘Trial By Fire’ comes out and, he’s not the same Steve Perry. We knew.”

Cain reflected more on what he thought about Perry’s later vocal performance:

“We could tell he was a few steps slower there and was struggling vocally with some things. I thought, ‘Well, he’ll come back, he’ll come around.’ He had kind of quit for a long time, not doing anything. A couple of years went by, but yet he sang some great things on that record. There were just great songs. ‘When You Love A Woman’ got nominated for an American Music Award. I think we got nominated for a Grammy or something like that.”

Perry left the band in 1987 due to personal issues and returned briefly in 1996 before leaving again for health reasons. Although Neal Schon left the door open for him to join Journey on stage for their 2023 tour, the rocker didn’t make an appearance.