‘You should be on a stage where you belong’: Journey’s Jonathan Cain has a message for Steve Perry

One of Steve Perry’s most important collaborators in Journey says he’s “very happy” his former bandmate has begun performing again, adding: “He deserves to be out there on stage. I think it’s wonderful. I could never understand why he seemed to be in recluse mode, hiding away somewhere.”

Jonathan Cain joined Journey in 1980, but hasn’t worked with Perry since he split with the band in the late 1990s. Perry then went into seclusion, only emerging recently for a series of surprise performances with the Eels. Journey, meanwhile, has moved on with Arnel Pineda filling Perry’s shoes.

“I think it’s great that he broke the ice and went out with the Eels and performed,” Cain tells Michael Cavacini. “I think it needed to happen. You get a monkey off your back. You get out in front of the people and feel what that feels like. I’m very happy for him.”

Cain’s arrival with Journey sparked a torrent of platinum success. He collaborated with Perry (and sometimes with Neal Schon, as well) on a number of the group’s most memorable songs, including “Open Arms” (No. 2 in 1982), “Who’s Crying Now” (No. 4 in 1981), “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” (No. 8 in 1982), “Don’t Stop Believin'” (No. 9 in 1981), “Be Good to Yourself” (No. 9 in 1986), “When You Love a Woman” (No. 12 in 1996) and “I’ll Be Alright Without You” (No. 17 in 1987), among others.

That gives Cain a finely tuned appreciation for Perry, as a writer and singer, despite their lengthy time apart.

“When you’re Steve Perry, one of the greatest voices of all time, you should be on a stage where you belong,” Cain adds. “So, good for him. I’m happy he’s out there flexing his chops.”

Cain also composed the 1982 No. 12 smash “Faithfully” by himself. Before his arrival, Journey had never had a Top 10 hit, and had only cracked the Top 20 once.

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