Book Review: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Jonathan Cain


Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations, the long-awaited autobiography by Journey’s piano man, Jonathan Cain, is tied with Paul Stanley’s Face The Music: A Life Exposed as my favorite music autobiography. And if you have to choose one way to read this book, listen to the audiobook because it’s narrated by the man himself, making for a more intimate reading experience. Jon’s narration of his autobiography is so raw and authentic that at some points he becomes overcome with emotion, which only makes the stories he tells that much more impactful. And the generous amount of beautiful music weaved throughout the audiobook makes for an engaging and enjoyable audiobook that I’d gladly listen to again. It’s also worth noting that the audiobook features bonus chapters not found in the print version of the book.

As I read this book, I had conflicted feelings. When Jon talked about parting ways with Steve Perry after Trial By Fire, it made me miss that one-of-a-kind voice more than ever. And when he spoke about Steve Augeri, the man who filled Steve Perry’s shoes, I realized how wonderful he was and became nostalgic for his tenure with Journey. It also made me proud of Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain, both of whom I’m proud to call friends, for pushing forward and proving that Journey was a viable band without Steve Perry – and perseverance is what this tale is all about. Jon explains all of the adversity and challenges he’s had to overcome and how he’s been able to do so because of his family, faith, and passion for music.

One of the highlights of this book was being provided with a behind-the-scenes tour of how Jonathan Cain wrote songs with Steve Perry. It seems as though they were on the same wavelength, and it was amazing seeing how they’d put together a song with Neal Schon. It’s a clear indication of how masterful Journey’s music is and how immensely talented these three men are. By the time you finish reading this book, you’ll realize just how special Journey and Jonathan Cain are. If a musician’s legacy is determined by the songs he leaves behind, then Jonathan Cain’s is one of the greatest of all time.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Jonathan Cain

  1. Interesting read this Michael. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I can relate to what you are saying about Steve Perry and Steve Augeri. Both equally deserve respect. However, I miss Steve Perry like crazy just because he’s Steve Perry! I love Journey. 🙂

    • Thanks, Wendy! Yes, reading/listening to this book resulted in all sorts of conflicting emotions for me, which means it was well-written. I think you’ll enjoy it, especially if you’re a big Journey fan.

  2. I think Jonathan Cain May have overstated his contribution on some of the collaborations such as Don’t Stop Believin. Steve Perry was way more involved in the writing though he was far from perfect too. He left the group in a vulnerable position and came back with unreasonable demands such as firing Ross and Steve Smith and Herbie. These people deserved every right to remain in the group and were instrumental in the success. I also think Jonathan Cain needs to leave his religion out of the spotlight. I feel bad for Liz, the mother of his children for what appears to be the ruthless manner in which he terminates their Marriage.

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