Jonathan Cain Recalls Receiving Threats For ‘Firing’ Steve Perry

In Journey’s new documentary ‘Journey: A Voice Lost . . . and Found,’ which will premiere on Reelz, Jonathan Cain opened up about Steve Perry’s departure from the band and how he faced threats from fans afterward.

Recalling the initial fan reactions, the keyboardist said:

“It was a big blowback. Some felt Journey wouldn’t be Journey without Steve Perry. That’s certainly one of the opinions that’s out there. But you know, I felt that the music was bigger than us. But the fans objected. They had to see it to believe it.”

Still, Cain admitted that he had concerns about potential risks due to angry responses:

“And Steve was game for the job. He showed up and did an admirable job. He was a great entertainer and gave us eight solid years. And the ladies loved him. But in the back of my mind, I wondered, ‘What if something horrible happened? What if somebody brought a gun?’ They would leave nasty messages on my phone machine.”

He then clarified that Perry was not kicked out of the band but rather chose to depart due to his physical pain:

“I had to change my number three times. There was a lot of anger. The fans thought we kicked Steve out, which was not true. He just didn’t want to do it anymore. He was going through physical pain. And it can be excruciating.”

The musician also acknowledged Perry’s desire for a private life:

“All that extreme traveling and lifestyle just drains your body from the ability to heal. I think with years of touring; you pay a price for it physically. It can take a toll. I think Steve felt it was time to get off the train. And he’s a personal guy. He likes his personal life.”

Elsewhere in the documentary, Cain also said he had no hard feelings about the frontman:

“I don’t have anything bad to say about Steve. He might have his difficult ways. He’s eccentric in a lot of ways. But he wanted a private life. And he was always fair with me. He was a great bandmate and a great band leader.”

Although the issue of his returning to Journey comes up from time to time, Perry explained to Classic Rock in 2019 that he chose to embrace the uncertainty of the future rather than revisit the past. Neal Schon also said last year that there was no chance of reuniting with Perry, even for a special show.