Journey Fires Two Band Members After Alleged Coup to Steal Name

Journey’s leader, Neal Schon, is sending his bassist and drummer on their “Separate Ways” … for allegedly trying to hijack the group name in a scheme that’s landed them all in court.

Lead guitarist Neal, a founding member, and keyboard player Jonathan Cain are suing their long-time bassist Russ Valory and drummer Steve Smith, claiming they tried to take control of the band’s corporation called Nightmare Productions, Inc.

According to the lawsuit, Russ and Steve allegedly thought the move would give them access to the “Journey” name, thereby allowing them to make millions for themselves after retiring. Neal and Jonathan say their rhythm section recently decided to hang it up.

Ill-conceived plan though, according to docs, obtained by TMZ. Neal and Jonathan say the band name is already licensed to another corporation called “Elmo” … which was set up by former lead singer Steve Perry, Neal and Jonathan back in 1985.

Bottom line … Russ and Steve are out in the cold, as far as making money off the band’s name — and now they’ve got this lawsuit on their hands too, for breach of fiduciary duty. Neal and Johnathan — who co-wrote most of the band’s huge hits with Perry — also want damages of at least $10 million.

Journey’s scheduled to tour this summer with The Pretenders — so expect to see a new drummer and bass player on stage if you’re going.

Don’t stop believing … in open auditions.

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