Journey Hires New Manager Amid Neal Schon-Jonathan Cain Lawsuit
Journey's Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain have ceded their co-managerial duties to new manager Mike Kobayashi, who confirmed to Billboard on Tuesday that he was "just hired" by the feuding rockers.
Kobayashi makes up one-third of CSM Management, which he launched with Craig Fruin and Sheryl Louis. The music management firm opened its Nashville and Los Angeles offices in 2018, and its roster includes other rock 'n' roll heavyweights such as Lenny Kravitz, Jeff Lynne, Stevie Nicks and Def Leppard, the last of which Kobayashi also manages.
The new hire comes amid a tumultuous period for Journey, as Schon and Cain have been embroiled in a highly publicized legal battle dealing with an American Express card associated with Nomota, the company they established in 1998 to handle Journey's business dealings. Schon filed a lawsuit against Cain and claimed the keyboardist "improperly restricted" his access to the account and its documents. Cain in turn accused Schon of misusing the card, citing his "excessive spending and extravagant lifestyle."
"All I want to see is our records," Schon wrote in a recent social media post. "Cain is lying as I do not have full access as he states. I'm now a 50% owner. I'm the founder, president and secretary/manager of Nomota LLC that we started in 1998, and have every right to see what's gone on in there. ... Transparency is all I'm asking for. Is that too much to be asking of a 50/50 partner? There's no skating around this."
Schon also tweeted a photo of himself with co-founding Journey and Santana keyboardist Gregg Rolie, whom Cain replaced in 1980. "Two original founding members. I think my brother Gregg Rolie should join us for 2023 tour," Schon wrote with the photo. "What do you think, friends? He will spice it up and we will have a great variety of songs to choose from. What would you like to hear for the 50th-anniversary tour?"